Holiday blues already?

We’ve landed in December and I can feel the holidays approaching.

Travel plans made. Christmas gift ideas swirling around my head, and hopefully some already in the closet.

Anticipating events can be a fun. Looking forward to the joy of celebrating with people? Or not?

If your anxiety spikes just thinking of holiday plans, this blog is for you.

You may feel locked in on this extrovert’s roller coaster. So many obligations. Here are some tips to calm your nervous system when life seems overwhelming.

1. Go into the bathroom and close the door. Sit. Breathe and think of summer. Kidding. Sort of. Imagine for a minute that you are in your safe place. For me that’s usually a summer garden or beach.

2. Take a mini break to stretch and bend. Simply find a room where you can stretch out your arms. Reach for the sky. Then slowly bend at the waist, reaching toward the floor. Hold each position for a count of 5 while you breathe deeply. Stretch and bend your body for a few minutes. Do not hurry. Twist to each side. Gently swivel your neck. Scrunch up your shoulders a few times.

3. Put your legs up on a wall. Find a spot where you can lay on the floor and point your feet up the wall in an inverted “L”. You may want to recline on a yoga mat or blanket. Some people like a folded blanket to support the head. Often a pillow is too much. Be gentle with your neck. Don’t try to move your head from side to side in this position. Just face up toward the ceiling. This is truly the most restorative position for unwinding stress. Stay 5 minutes. Or 10 minutes if you have that luxury. No time? Try it for 1 minute!

4. Declutter. Holiday decorating is fun and it can get out of control. When your inner space begins to feel over-stimulated, it helps to un-decorate a little. Pick a room or even just a table top or countertop and put things away or throw them away. (I know you’ll respect other people’s stuff. Perhaps some negotiation will be required). Keep a holiday box in a nearby closet for stashing decorations you’re tired of already! Less is more.

5. Take a day off work to spend the day with YOU. A mental health day. Do whatever you want. Don’t feel guilty.

6. Imagine a perfect December and take some notes. Your mind is powerful. A day dream can sooth you and bring you back into the Window of Tolerance. Then return to previously scheduled activities with a calmer mind.

7. Pause and listen to music. The pause here is important. Just sit or lie down, cue up a song on your favorite app or YouTube and give your full attention to the song. Do not stare at the screen! Put it out of sight and rest your attention on the music only. Sick of Christmas music? So many other choices are out there for your personal play list.

8. Make your own Holiday De-stress List. Your mental health is important. Even if you are responsible for several other humans (especially if you are responsible for little ones or high needs adults), paying attention to your own well-being is key to getting through challenging times.

9. Choose several small self care activities to do every day during this season. Can you take a 20 minute walk? Meditate for 5 minutes? Listen to a soothing song? Or choose one of the tips above?

10. Choose at least 1 activity for yourself each week. Can you get a massage? Go to a yoga class? Set aside a few hours to read a novel?

Whether your holiday is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice or another celebration, here’s to a manageable holiday season! Cheers!

Like these 10 tips and want more help managing your life in these challenging times? I’ll be taking new clients in January. Call now for a free consultation.

Lisa Yaeger, LPC
In Denver and Virtual
(303) 225-9076