‘Tis the season to be jolly – however, it’s also the season where it could bring a lot of stress. The holiday season is one of the most exciting times of the year, especially for those who get into the spirit of Christmas early on. For women, it can be a challenging time since, apart from our hectic day-to-day schedules, meetings, and other responsibilities at home, women are expected to bring their A-game as they become in charge of the festivities. Not to mention, the long queues and the last-minute shopping madness can too be much to handle.

So, what can women do to maintain their mental health during this crazy time? Here are some tips to prevent holiday stress and anxiety.

Plan ahead

One of the best things to avoid getting into the last-minute shopping craziness is to plan ahead. If it’s possible, set aside time for each activity. Set specific days for cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping up presents, and even meeting up with friends and relatives. Always make a list of the things you need and ask for help with the preparation.

Stick to your budget

Before doing any shopping for the holidays, decide how much you are willing to spend and what you can only afford. The season is not about showering other people with expensive gifts, but no matter how cliché it is, it’s really the thought that counts. You can make it even more meaningful by donating to the less fortunate or even giving homemade gifts.

Continue healthy habits

The celebrations could trick us into thinking that we can do and eat just about anything to the point of abandoning healthy habits. Remember that overindulgence would only add to your stress as it could also produce some guilt feelings after. Don’t go overboard with sweets, dairy, and alcoholic drinks. Exercise and get plenty of rest. Meditate during your free time.

Say ‘no’ if you have to

The feeling of having to say ‘yes’ to every single invitation and activity is typically strong during this season. However, it’s also one of the most common reasons why people feel overwhelmed and, at the same time, feel some resentment toward other people. Learning to say no is essential, especially if your health is at risk. Your colleagues and friends will understand if you can’t be present all the time. Working long hours every single day is enough to wear you down, so set some boundaries if you have to.

Make some time for your needs

The holiday blues brought by the pressures surrounding women is a pretty common occurrence.To maintain your mental health, remember to make time to focus on yourself and your needs. Take a breather if you must. One good tip is to practice some mindful activities like being still for 15 to 20 minutes – wherein you spend 15 to 20 minutes alone, away from the usual distractions. This helps to clear your mind. Listen to good music or read a book. Do something you enjoy.

Written by Sheena Javier

Maintaining Mental Health During the Holiday Season (and a Pandemic). (n.d.). NAMI California. https://namica.org/blog/handling-stress-during-the-holiday-season/

Tips for coping with holiday stress. (2017). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544