Managing holiday stress
Welcome to the holiday season, a time to give gifts, attend parties and enjoy it all! Although the whole spirit of the holidays is supposed to be fun and joyful, it’s also a stressful time for many. Excessive eating, drinking and gatherings can sometimes be overwhelming and too much to handle.
Remember before taking care of everybody else’s needs, you are first and foremost responsible for your own needs! Pick those who matter the most and maybe skip the rest if it feels overwhelming.
Be aware of your own capacity and never overwork yourself because it’s never worth it, especially when the holiday seasons are supposed to give you the time and space to do things you find fun and relaxing.
Wellbeing during the holidays
Holidays are always a time to enjoy some nice food and see your families. But the holidays season will be different this time around. Due to the global spread of coronavirus, we are not able to travel and have big gatherings.
If you feel lonely and awkward, it’s alright and not at all weird – it is a common feeling for some people to feel out of place at this time of the year.
In fact, this could be the perfect time for you to take care of yourself. Listen to what your head, heart and body want. It is good to let yourself take a break and treat yourself sometimes.
The effects of COVID during the holidays
The COVID-19 pandemic has been very stressful for many of us. It is safe to say that having fewer large gatherings could reduce the spread of COVID-19, keeping our families and friends safe.
If we’re not going to be flying to other beautiful places in the world, why not consider having small hiking trips around Hong Kong? Of course this should be done under certain precautions but this could be the perfect time to appreciate the local beauty of our hometown.
Maybe you will discover some local gems that you would have never considered looking for.
Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, take time to breathe. Deep breathing helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and helps us to calm down.
Volunteering your time to a good cause is a great way to contribute to your community, especially now when some in our community might be struggling. You could volunteer your time with a local organisation or organise a food or gift drive. Giving helps us gain perspective, lifts up others, and makes us feel good as well.
Expressions of gratitude can improve our mood, reduce stress levels, as well as strengthen our social connections. So take the time to write down a few things you are grateful for every day, or express your gratitude to someone in your life.
Staying active is essential for both our mental and physical health. Carve out time to move, every day. This can be going for a walk, doing a virtual workout class, or playing a sport
The holiday season can get busy, so take the time to practice self-care. Make sure that you are freeing up a little bit of time, every day, to do something that you enjoy – exercise, reading a good book, drawing, watching a show or playing a game.
When there is a lot going on around us it is easy to forget to take notice of the little pleasures. When you are experiencing something enjoyable, pause and notice and savour the moment. Taking a photo to capture the moment can be helpful!
We know that “togetherness” will be a little different this year, but it doesn’t mean that it’s cancelled. Spend time with your family and friends if it is safe to do so. Engage in safe activities such as taking a hike, ordering-in fun meals, or decorating the house. For those loved ones whom you are not able to physically be with, set up holiday-themed virtual meet-ups to catch up.