Holiday Season Overwhelm

Holiday Season Overwhelm

It’s the season of hope and grace, and yet people are so overwhelmed.

John Luehr, MD

The holiday season is often associated with joy, celebration, and togetherness.

However, for many of us, it can also bring about stress, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness. Balancing the demands of festive gatherings, gift-giving, and heightened expectations can take a toll on your mental health.

Our own Dr. John Luehr recently spoke with Fox 9 about this timely topic.

Let’s explore some simple strategies to guard against overwhelm and promote your mental well-being during the holiday season and beyond:

1. Set realistic expectations

One of the main stressors during the holidays is the pressure to create the perfect celebration. Understand that perfection is unattainable, and it’s okay to prioritize your well-being over flawless festivities. Set realistic expectations for yourself and others, focusing on creating meaningful moments rather than striving for perfection.

2. Create boundaries

The holiday season often involves numerous social engagements, but it’s crucial to recognize your limits. Learn to say no when necessary and prioritize activities that align with your values and bring you joy. Establishing boundaries allows you to conserve energy and maintain a healthy balance between socializing and self-care.

3. Practice mindfulness

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, make time for mindfulness practices. Whether it’s meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a few moments to appreciate the present, mindfulness can help alleviate stress and foster a sense of calm. Consider incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine to stay grounded and centered.

4. Stay connected

While the holidays can be a time for joyous reunions, they may also amplify feelings of loneliness for some. Stay connected with friends and family, even if it means virtual gatherings or phone calls. Share your thoughts and feelings with loved ones, and remember that genuine connections contribute significantly to mental well-being.

5. Prioritize self-care

In the midst of holiday preparations, don’t neglect your self-care routine. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep, eating nourishing foods, and engaging in activities that bring you happiness. Schedule regular breaks to recharge, and don’t hesitate to indulge in activities that promote relaxation, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or enjoying a favorite hobby.

6. Embrace imperfections

Perfectionism can be a significant source of stress. Accept that not everything will go as planned, and that’s perfectly fine. Embrace imperfections and view them as opportunities for growth and resilience. Sometimes, the most memorable moments arise from unexpected twists and turns.

7. Give back

Engaging in acts of kindness and giving back to the community can be immensely fulfilling. Volunteer your time, donate to a charitable cause, or find ways to support those in need. Acts of kindness not only benefit others but also contribute to a sense of purpose and well-being.

8. Seek professional support

If the holiday season brings about overwhelming emotions or exacerbates existing mental health concerns, seeking professional support is crucial. Therapists, counselors, and support groups can provide guidance and a safe space to navigate challenges. Prioritize your mental health by reaching out for assistance when needed.


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