As the temperature drops and we officially move into holiday season, many are looking forward to the decorations, gatherings, meals, and time with family and loved ones. However, the joyful side of the holidays is often accompanied by the not so joyful side, stress and depression. The pressures associated with the holidays can be overwhelming and have a negative effect on your health.
If you are looking for ways to make your holidays less stressful and more joyful, the Mayo Clinic (2019) suggests several helpful tips to prevents stress and depression from taking over. For most, holiday memories are associated with loved ones and generate feelings happiness; however, for some, this happiness can be accompanied by feelings of sadness and grief. If you are saddened during this time of year, acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself time to accept them; you are not required to be happy simply because of societal expectations. It is healthy to feel grief. It is also healthy to accept the absence of loved ones and focus on happy memories or making new memories. Reach out to positive friends and family members to may ease the weight you may be feeling.
Stress and depression are also connected to our own expectations of what the holidays should be. If you find yourself overwhelmed by your idea of the holidays, take a step back and re-evaluate the things you hold as important. Be realistic in your idea of the holidays, try not to expect too much or attempt to do more than you are capable. Scaling back gatherings and expectations can bring forth new traditions and restore your holiday delight. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic address budgeting and time management as ways to ease holiday strain.
The holidays can be exhausting. It is important to find a healthy balance so you can focus on the things that make you happy. If you are looking for a way kick off a happy holiday mood, join me on Friday, November 1st at the Ben E. Keith Community Room in Commerce for Making Memories, the annual holiday craft, goodies, decor, and more program. The program will begin at 9:30 am and usually lasts about two hours. Local volunteers are preparing a full lineup of holiday demonstrations including festive crafts, tasty treats, budget friendly gifts, and home decor. Attendees may enjoy a variety of refreshments while following along with presenters in their copy of the project booklet. Tickets are $5.00 and may be purchased in advance at the Hunt County Extension Office.
If you have questions, concerns, or just want to chat, please feel free to call (903) 455-9885, email Sarah.Latham@ag.tamu.edu, or come by the Hunt County Extension office, 2217 Washington Street, Greenville, Texas 75401. You may also read more about this and many more topics on my blog, http://agentsarah.blogspot.com/. For additional information on area issues and events, follow us on Facebook, by simply searching for Hunt County AgriLife.
Mayo Clinic. (2019). Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544
Making Memories Flyer: