5 tips to manage mental stress during the holiday

Between completing work assignments for the year and the holidays, this season can be very hectic (understood: overwhelming) for many, especially for women, who often express more emotional in relationships and carry the burden of managing the mental burden of relationships. holidays of the whole family and their household.

“Mental burden is an overwhelming feeling that women often feel,” explains Jaime Bronstein, LCSW, relationship coach and upcoming book author MAN *expression. “Some women feel obligated to run the family and take care of things—schedule activities, play dates, doctor and dentist appointments, study time, meal plans for the week, overall management of the house and life in the house.”

In other words, carrying a mental burden means always having the feeling that there is always more work to be done. And during the holiday season, that feeling of overwhelm can be exacerbated when you add in all the holiday-related tasks that need to be completed, such as buying gifts, preparing dinner meals, and so on. family gatherings and travel arrangements. Its so many. Not only that, but not addressing your mental burden can significantly affect your mental and physical health, says Bronstein, as it can increase stress, increase feelings of anxiety and depression.

Good news? Managing the mental burden over the holidays and beyond goes back to the self-care basics you may already be familiar with.

1. Intentionally make time for yourself every week

While it may sound paradoxical to take time for yourself when your to-do list is never ending, it’s exactly what can help you manage the mental burden you’re carrying, according to Bronstein. wear, especially during the busy holiday season. “You’ll feel better and be able to take better care of your family after taking care of yourself,” she says.

For this reason, she suggests that you proactively schedule time with me each week and communicate your intentions with those around you. “Be sincere and convey your message authentically when you explain the importance of you taking care of yourself,” says Bronstein. You could say something along the lines of:

Family, I love you with all my heart. I was feeling overwhelmed and I needed to find some time during the week to do something for myself because as you know, I’m always doing the things that I love for you. Please support me and know that by taking some time for myself, I can show my best self to help and support all of you. I would love to go to gym class, get my nails done or read a book; nothing fancy. I hope you understand and can love me unconditionally the way I love you unconditionally.

“You’ll be surprised at how supportive your family is when you honestly tell them how you feel and what you need to relieve the emotional burden,” says Bronstein.

2. Magazines

One activity you can do during your weekly self-care day is journaling, which can help calm a mind that is feeling chaotic. “The act of writing keeps you in the present moment, and when you write down anything that weighs on your heart, the more you write, the lighter you feel,” says Bronstein.

To get the most benefit from this way of journaling, Bronstein recommends journaling as honestly as possible about how you’re feeling—the good, the bad, and the bad. “Your diary will document your pain, hurt, trauma, and anything else that needs processing and healing,” she says. “Believe that by journaling, you are simultaneously healing by releasing the things that are holding you back inside and keeping you in a constant state of mental stress.”

3. Exercise

Exercise is another ritual to add to your self-care checklist, especially during the busy season. Here’s why: “Exercise is a phenomenal way to reduce stress and anxiety,” says Bronstein. “When we exercise, ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine kick in.” And it doesn’t have to be an intense workout either, she adds, adding that any type of movement is helpful, such as going for a walk or taking a yoga class.

4. Ask for help

One of the best things you can do for yourself to help manage your holiday stress is to ask for help, whether from a spouse, friend, family member or hiring someone. support. According to Bronstein, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. “Ask for help means you love yourself and care about yourself,” she says. “Once you try it, you’ll feel empowered.”

That being said, asking for help is often easier said than done, especially for those unfamiliar with it. Bronstein offers a few important tips for this. First, she recommends sending your message with “I love you” or “I appreciate you” from the start, making the person more receptive to the offer.

Second, ask for help in a non-judgmental way, which means without blaming the person, but explaining that you want help and that you appreciate what they did to support you.

And third, release the control of how they help you by allowing them to do things their way without micromanaging. Yes, this can take a bit of practice, says Bronstein, but to fully recharge and ease your mental load, stepping aside and letting the person help you is paramount.

5. Seek advice

Finally, Bronstein emphasizes the importance of working with a therapist who can create space for you to share uncensored feelings without judgment once a week, especially during busy season. She says: “There is an emotional upheaval and emotions that make you feel lighter and less burdened by feelings of being overwhelmed and anxious. “Therapeutics also helps you to put things into perspective and rise above the circumstances to get the big picture that allows you to navigate stressful situations.”


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