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Tips for Reducing Holiday Stress

Anxiety is trying to crash the party during yet another holiday season. Most people look forward to the holidays. However, preparing for the joyous celebration can be stressful for many people. High inflation and infection rates for coronavirus, influenza, and other illnesses may cause additional worries this year.

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Indiana University and Mayo Clinic offer the following tips for coping with the holidays:

  • Set realistic priorities and expectations. The holidays don't have to be perfect, and you don't have to do things exactly the way they have been done in the past. Think about what is really important to you during the holidays. Accept that we are all faced with unpredictable circumstances and focus on what you can control.
  • Make safe choices for celebrating. When infection rates are high, wear masks and opt for smaller gatherings. Although these steps may seem inconvenient, they may help you avoid years of regret and heartache.
  • Set a realistic budget. Decide what you can comfortably afford to spend and stick to your limits. You may have to cut back, especially in light of rising costs. Consider a white elephant, regifting, or thrift-store gift exchanges. Don't try to buy happiness.
  • Practice mindfulness when you feel overwhelmed. Go to a quiet place and take deep breaths. Write a list of what needs to be done and prioritize them. Don't sweat the small stuff.
  • Don't try to do it all. Less is more. Take on a few activities that mean the most to you and let go of the rest.
  • Take time to enjoy life. Go to a movie, bake a treat, or make time for a hobby.
  • Stay optimistic. Focus on the good things in your life and the things you can do to make the holidays enjoyable for everyone.
  • Use healthy coping tactics. Acknowledge your feelings. Give yourself permission to cry or express feelings of grief or sadness, maintain a healthy diet, make time for regular exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Try meditation or yoga.
  • Stay connected. Reach out to friends and family through the phone or virtual chats.
  • Seek professional help if you need it. The Self-Funded Program through Allstate Benefits offers access to virtual talk therapy visits* through through Walmart Health Virtual Care (formerly known as MeMD®). Licensed therapists can help with a wide range of mental and emotional health needs. Members receive ongoing support, on their schedule, from the comfort of their home via phone and/or video visits in as little as 48 hours.

*For members 18+ years of age.

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