Holidays stressing you out? We have tips to help!

By Buffalo Medical Group | December 21 2017 | Doctor Tips

The holiday highs include family and friends, and time shared with loved ones, but they can also be full of stress and sadness. The holiday season might may serve as a reminder of those we have lost, financial struggles, lost relationships, or health issues we may have experienced throughout the year. Even the holidays themselves can bring chaos – from shopping to parties or even unwanted guests, our stress can be at an all-time high this time of year.

These losses and struggles we feel may cause us stress, anger, or sadness during a time when we are supposed to be happy. And despite what the song lyrics may say, the holidays aren’t always the “most wonderful time of the year” for everyone.

Monica Farrar, licensed mental health counselor in our Behavior Health department, shares helpful tips to prepare for the holidays, and the stress and grief that may come along with it.

  • Give yourself permission to be sad
  • Decide how you want to celebrate, if you want to celebrate at all. Don’t allow the holidays to just happen; try to use a Plan A/Plan B approach to the holidays. Plan A might involve spending Christmas or Hanukkah with relatives; Plan B might mean having a simple dinner and watching a movie at home. Having a Plan B can be comforting even if you don’t use it.
  • Let others know how you’d like to move through the season. Our friends and family often don’t know how to help us, so lets tell them.
  • Take time for yourself. The holidays can often mean seeing many people, and being at large gatherings, so make sure you take time to be by yourself to reset if needed.
  • Make healthy choices – this time of year is full of plenty of food, most of which isn’t healthy, so make sure to make healthy swaps, and take time to exercise. Physical health is an important component in your mental health.
  • Learn to say no – whether it’s buying additional gifts that are outside of your budget, or attending a party that brings unnecessary stress – it’s important to know it’s okay to say no if something feels like it’s just too much
  • Seek professional help if needed. Even if you make every attempt to not over exert yourself, and try to stay healthy during the holidays, you may still feel anxious, stressed and extreme sadness. The best thing you can do is ask for help if you need it, and contact a professional.

If you are experiencing stress, depression or grief this holiday season, Buffalo Medical Group is here to help. For more information, view our behavior health page, or call Erin Ruston to learn more or set up an appointment: 716.656.4813