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Thursday, December 3, 2020

Holiday Triggers for Young Adults: How to Deal With Holiday Stress

Most of us experience excess stress during the holiday season, which is usually a whirlwind of gift shopping and wrapping, decorating and celebrating with family, friends and colleagues. While all these activities are supposed to be enjoyable, they can also start to feel exhausting as the season progresses. What are some productive ways you can deal with holiday stress this year?

1. Don’t Overspend

Many people spend too much money during the holidays – even young adults. If you’re trying to stay within your budget and save money for expenses like rent, car payments and college tuition, it doesn’t make sense to go overboard on pricey presents and fancy foods.

Instead of buying gifts for everyone on your list, spare yourself the stress of holiday overspending. Think about alternatives that can show friends and loved ones how much you care without breaking the bank. If you’ve always been crafty, you might make handmade gifts like knitted scarves. Or, consider creating “coupons” your recipients can exchange for services like helping them wash their car or clean their house.

2. Learn to Say No

Overcommitment is another factor that contributes to holiday stress. If you’re the type of person who always says yes to everything, even when you already have far too much on your plate, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed during the holidays. Embrace the power of setting healthy boundaries and learning to say no politely. There’s no reason to feel guilty about telling someone, “I’m sorry, I can’t do that because I’m too busy.”

3. Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Another “silent stressor” that can detract from the joy of the holidays is seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. The transition from fall to winter leads to shorter days and colder weather. Many of us spend more time indoors, which leads to a form of depression. If you often feel fatigued and less enthusiastic about life in the winter, you may suffer from SAD.

When this mood disorder coincides with the holidays, it can make you irritable and cause you to savor special occasions less. Many people find relief from SAD with daily, at-home light therapy. When the weather permits, you can also take walks outside. Exercise and exposure to sunlight can help reduce SAD symptoms.

4. Make Time to Breathe

If you feel overwhelmed, you might be surprised how much better you feel after you spend a little bit on deep breathing exercises. You don’t necessarily have to do a full meditation – even pausing for a few minutes can be beneficial. With each inhale, picture yourself breathing in love, and with each exhale, consciously let go of anxiety.

A Happier, Healthier Holiday Season

If you have a problematic relationship with alcohol or drugs, there’s hope for a brighter future. With young adult addiction treatment, you can learn to break the cycle of addiction and replace unhealthy coping mechanisms with ones that contribute to your well-being. We invite you to contact us at Hope Academy to learn more about our services.
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