Some say it’s the most wonderful time of the year! And some say ‘tis the season for extra stress. The Mayo Clinic has put together a tool kit for those feeling stressed, depressed or anxious over the holidays and it includes some great ideas! Firstly, acknowledge your feelings. It’s okay to not feel okay and take the time to express your feelings. Reach out to friends, family or community members, via in person events or virtual events. They all offer support and companionship. Another option is to volunteer. Helping others is a great way to lift your spirits and meet others in the community. Be realistic with your holiday expectations, Things don’t have to be perfect or the exact same as last year. Maybe this is the year you create a new tradition to add to your existing ones. Set aside differences with family and friends. Act with empathy if others get upset or distressed as they might be feeling the effects of holiday stress just like you. Plan a budget before you hit the malls and stick to it. There are alternatives to an avalanche of gifts that include donating to a charity in someone’s name, giving homemade gifts and/or starting a family gift exchange. Plan in advance all your baking, shopping and connecting with loved ones so you can enjoy some relaxing time during the holiday season too. Accept that saying no to plans is allowed. You don’t have to attend all the activities or projects someone invites you to. Continue with your healthy habits such as exercising, eating healthy meals, getting a good nights and be aware of your social media time. Ensure you make time for yourself! This is your holiday too. Find an activity you enjoy and take a break yourself. Last but certainly not least, seek professional help if you need it.There you go! With some planning ahead and positive thinking, you too can find peace and joy during the holiday season. 

 Connect with Safe and Sound Therapeutics for more ways to destress over the holiday season. 

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