{Guest blog} Don’t let stressors prevent you from enjoying the season

The holiday season is a time for high expectations of ourselves and others. The trouble is, real life rarely measures up to the movie scenes and magazines. We all know this on some level, yet year after year, we put undue pressure on ourselves.

Pay attention to stress triggers. When you are feeling the pressure stop and ask yourself…

What do I need right now?

What am I telling myself that is causing me stress? Find a different story to tell yourself about what is really important.

Trade perfection for contentment.

If we aim for the perfect Norman Rockwell holiday we will likely fail and end up exhausted! Toss the guilt aside. Create an environment that cultivates contentment rather than raising pressure.

Embrace “less is better.”

Every year we are bombarded with messages of “buy more, cook more, wrap more.” Scale back the holiday. Pause and identify what really makes them special.

Stay focused on those things. Let go of the others.

Take a break. Seriously. Put down the to-do list and make a cup of your favorite hot beverage. Relax with a good book. Put on a comedy show and laugh. Call a friend to chat. You get the idea.

Ask yourself what you’d rather be doing right now and give yourself permission to do just that.

If you are struggling this holiday season and need support for things like anxiety, depression, substance use or other mental health challenges, visit ndbh.com/resources or talk to your doctor.

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