Dealing with Stress During the Holidays

The holiday season can be stressful for all of us, and often times even more so for those in the LGBTQ+ community, today we have some helpful tips for coping with holiday stress from the Cleveland Clinic 

Cleveland Clinic – When you think of the holiday season, festive decorations, family and presents probably come to mind. But, it can also be a stressful time of year for many individuals.

“The holidays can be very stressful because it can bring up increased loneliness, grief and depression. And so for people in that circumstance, they can often assume everybody else is having a happy, warm, loving, stress-free holiday, and it can make whatever they were experiencing prior to the holidays that much more challenging,” explained Dawn Potter, PsyD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Potter said there are all kinds of reasons someone may be feeling stressed out. So, what can you do to help cope?

One way is to set boundaries. For example, if you have to go to a family event with relatives you don’t get along with, consider leaving early or bringing someone with you who can change the subject if you get into a difficult conversation.

Another tip, take a break from social media. It’s very easy to compare yourself to other people and assume everyone is having an amazing time. Dr. Potter said it’s important to remember what you’re seeing is only the highlight reel.

Finally, if you are struggling financially and can’t afford presents for your loved ones, there are still plenty of ways to show you care.

“If you are creative and are able to do some type of homemade gift that can help save some money, that can be really helpful,” said Dr. Potter. “You can also give people coupons for activities you will do with them, or chores you will take off their plate or plans that will be made in the future.”

Dr. Potter said if you feel like your stress or anxiety doesn’t seem to be improving, you should reach out to a mental health professional.

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