Thank you to Intern Anna for filling in for me again this week while I’m resting and not having holiday stress here in Southern Spain. I am benefitting from the beautiful holiday lights the Spaniards have placed all over their adorable towns.  Take care and I hope that you find some tools for yourselves and your loved ones with eating disorders. ~ Becky

The holidays are stressful. by Intern Anna

I feel like most people are afraid to say they are stressed during the holiday season because it is “supposed to be a cheery time.” I think both of those emotions can coexist. 

Sometimes I feel like I get stressed because of the fact that I am not supposed to be stressed. But then again, I think about that and I wonder who said I am not “supposed to be stressed.” It is a big time of the year that comes with a lot of pressure. Pressure to cook, pressure to clean, pressure to buy gifts, etc. I think stress is warranted. Stress is okay to have, as long as you know how to deal with it. 

When I get stressed, I recognize that my depression increases and I don’t feel my hunger cues as prominently. I tend to sleep more and socialize less. Knowing what your tendencies are when you get stressed can help you make a plan of attack. 

Since I know what my tendencies are, I try to plan ahead. If I know that I am going to be more stressed around the holidays, I plan meals and times with friends during those weeks ahead of time. That way I stay on track with my mental and physical health. 

I think it can be really hard to stay on top of self care routines during the holidays and especially if you travel. That is why self care needs to be a top priority. If your self care crumbles, all your other habits around you might too. Make sure to make time for sleep and rest. Continue your daily routines such as taking a walk with the dog and waking up early to read. It is important to take care of yourself to stay healthy and happy over the holidays.

 6 Tips for relieving stress over the holidays 

  • Go outside and enjoy some winter sun! Vitamin D is super important and the cold breeze can help zap away negative emotions.
  • Take breaks when with family and friends. It can be helpful to take a break to refresh your outlook.
  • Plan out your self care routines. This will help you adhere to them when you are feeling down. 
  • Confide in another person about how you are feeling. This can feel really relieving. If you don’t want to talk out loud, try journaling. 
  • Focus on what the purpose of the holiday is! Try to forget those negative emotions for a while and relax. 
  • Try a breathing meditation or a guided body scan.

For more support for caregivers and this topic, visit beckhenry.com

Intern Anna for Becky Henry