Relax, Relate, Release: De-Stress Your Holiday!

The holidays are an exciting time of goodness, cheer, family tradition, and spending time with friends.  Or, are they?

For many, a crowded room and the idea of a party or get-together produces anxiety, depression, or all the above.  Feeling like you have to be “on” and constantly chatting it up while at a party, exchanging gifts with friends, traveling from home, or attending large family gatherings on top of trying to get everything else done such as buying gifts, cooking, and taking care of day-to-day tasks can increase stress levels, particularly in persons living with ADHD.

While holiday party stress is common and may make you want to avoid activities and people, the truth is avoidance only perpetuates fear.

So de-stress before you dive in!

Check out my website for helpful strategies Try these strategies to help reduce holiday stress and worry:

  • Focus on the joy. Pay attention to what’s working well in your life.  You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.
  • Take the pressure off yourself.  Set reasonable expectations for yourself and other and remain flexible.  Know some things won’t go exactly as planned — and that’s A-OK!
  • Choose to say no. Try not to overschedule yourself during the holiday season.  You don’t have to feel obligated to accept every invitation.
  • Limit caffeine.  You might think the caffeine will help get and keep you going but caffeine and other stimulants can mimic panic-like symptoms.  Drink more water instead.
  • Eat well-balanced meals.  Make sure they include ample servings of stress-reducing foods, such as fatty fish, eggs, and probiotic-rich fermented foods such as yogurt and kombucha.  Chamomile tea also provides a calming effect.
  • Get enough sleep.  Avoid activities such as billpaying before going to bed.  Allow yourself time to wind down before trying to sleep and try to keep a regular bedtime routine.
  • Don’t look for relief in alcohol or drugs.  It can be tempting to “take the edge off” at holiday events, alcohol and drugs can make anxiety worse and may trigger panic atta
  • Meditate.  Meditation helps you momentarily detach.  It’s a great tool for quieting an overactive mind.  Consider using a meditation app on your cell phone.
  • Smile.  Smiling has been proven to make you feel more positive and joyous.  Plus, your smile is beautiful!

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