Take step to prevent holiday stress from getting out of control

Stanley Popovich

        Everybody deals with stress and anxiety during the holidays; however, it is important to know how to cope if your stresses get out of control.
        With this in mind, here are some tips that a person can use to help manage the stresses and anxieties that the holidays may bring.
        1. Take a break:  Sometimes, we get stressed out when everything happens all at once during the holidays. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper, or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things.
        2. Carry a small notebook of positive statements with you: Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook and carry it around in your pocket. Whenever you feel anxious during the holidays, open up your small notebook and read those statements.
        3. Take things in stride: Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your stresses and anxieties. The key is to make an effort to find the answers that will solve your current situation.
        4. Do not dwell or focus on your negative thoughts: When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.
        At times, a person might encounter a fearful thought that may be difficult to manage. When this happens, visualize a red stop sign, which can serve as a reminder to stop thinking about that thought.
        5. Help others through community service if you get lonely: There are many people out there who could benefit from your time and talents. Helping others can give you a sense of pride and accomplishment and help you to feel better about yourself. You can also increase your chances of meeting others with similar interests if you get involved in an activity you enjoy.
        6. Take advantage of the help that is available around you: If possible, talk to a professional who can help you if you get depressed during the holidays. A mental health counselor will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current worries.
        Help is always available if you ask.
        Stan Popovich is the author of the popular managing fear book, “A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear”. For more information about Stan’s book and to get some free mental health advice, please visit Stan’s website at https://managingfear.com/blog.


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