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The Holidays Can Be Triggering: Here’s How To Recognize Five Common Stressors And Cope With Them To Save Your Mental Health

Remind your family that these things are not an appropriate topic of discussion, especially around the dinner table. Be mindful of what you’re eating, and if you know you’ll have limited food options, bring a dish of your own. Remember that it’s okay to skip the holiday meal—just make sure to eat beforehand.

Family Get-Togethers

If you have a big family, chances are that you might not get along with everyone attending the get-together. Events with a large number of people can also be draining. The holidays bring up strong feelings and may lead to conflicts. Perhaps you have some family members who don’t agree with your beliefs or lifestyle and start an argument about it every time they see you. This can cause the holidays to become a bitter experience.

Boundaries are essential in these circumstances. If you’re feeling stressed or pressured by what someone is saying to you, keep in mind that it’s not necessary to engage in the conversation. You can politely remove yourself from the situation whenever you feel disrespected or uncomfortable.

Financial Stress

The holidays are all about spending time with loved ones, but they’re also about gifts, which means spending money. Plus, there are new outfits, food and drinks, and travel costs to consider. The expenses can really add up, and you may feel stretched to your limits. To avoid breaking the bank, stick to your budget. If you can’t afford to do certain things, be honest with the people you’re spending time with.

You can make more affordable plans, like having a movie night at home, admiring the Christmas lights around the neighborhood, or connecting through video chat instead of traveling. As for gifts, tap into your creative side and hand-make some art or jewelry. It can help cut costs and be more meaningful than a store-bought present.

Feelings of Sadness And Loneliness

For many, this time of year may remind you of a traumatic event, rocky relationships with family, or the loss of a loved one. Either way, the holidays can be sad and lonely. These feelings are normal, and it’s okay to feel them. Just because it’s the holidays, that doesn’t mean you have to be in a happy mood at all times.

Engaging in hobbies you enjoy, such as reading, watching movies, or crafting, can take your mind off the loneliness and lift your spirits. Additionally, spending time with people who make you feel supported and loved can help boost your mood, even if it’s just through the phone.

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