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4 Coping Techniques For When The Holiday Season Feels Overwhelming

4 Coping Techniques For When The Holiday Season Feels Overwhelming

by Paige Nelson, PT, DPT, OCSLeave a Comment

As many of us know, the holiday season is a time filled with joy and cheer, but it can also bring about feelings of stress, anxiety, guilt and even grief in some cases. In addition to being out of our usual routine due to hosting family or traveling, it can also be challenging to continue healthy habits. We might find ourselves surrounded by family and loved ones with different expectations or views of the world, and it is very easy to feel stressed in these situations. Below are some strategies to help when the holidays start to feel a bit overwhelming.

1. Practicing Meditation And Mindfulness:

Mindfulness and meditation can help us stay present in the moment and decrease feelings of anxiety. This practice can also help activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of our nervous system that helps us stay calm and maintain a ‘relaxed state’.

If this is your first time doing this, using applications on your phone or mobile device, such as Headspace and Calm, can help with a more guided approach if you are still trying to figure out where to start.

2. Exercise

When traveling, getting out of our regular exercise routine is easy due to accessibility challenges, routine changes, etc. Exercise has long been considered a great way to help manage stress. Exercising releases chemicals in our body, such as serotonin and endorphins, to improve our mood. Exercise can also improve our sleep quality, which is essential for managing feelings of stress and anxiety.

Some exercise ideas requiring little equipment include body weight strengthening exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups or planks, streaming a yoga class online, or even going for a walk.

3. Get Outside

If you do not live in a warm climate, getting outside might be challenging to do in the winter months due to weather conditions. Some people experience depression or changes in mood during these months, which can be draining during the holidays. Exposure to the sun can increase Vitamin D, which, in turn, can help decrease inflammation in our body, improve concentration, and help with stress relief.

4. Set A Schedule

Planning is key! Clear communication with loved ones can help manage expectations during this busy time of year. Setting appropriate boundaries with loved ones is another way to help manage feelings of stress and guilt. This will also allow you to have time to yourself if that is what your body needs during this time.

If pain is holding you back from exercising or you want to learn more about stress management techniques before the holiday season, connect with your local Athletico team for a free assessment! Free assessments are available in person and virtually through our telehealth platform. From all of us here at Athletico, we wish you a very happy holiday season!

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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