Stressful Holidays Ahead? Here’s What to Do.
rē•visit holiday stress *after* sipping on these CBD mocktails by Lord Jones...
The holiday season is an undeniably magical time for many — but not all. In fact, if you find yourself experiencing anxiety this time of year, you are certainly not alone. There are many reasons why the holidays can be triggering — perhaps due to financial concerns, or triggering family dynamics, not to mention the onslaught of sugary treats that can interfere with a wellness-forward diet. Below, Alison LaSov, LMFT, and CEO of Advekit break down some of the reasons why holidays can be stressful and provides expert tips on how to manage.
rē•Considering Holiday Stressors
“There are expectations placed on us that for the holiday season, we should all be ‘merry’ — and that is not always the case for everyone,” LaSov tells rē•spin. “The holidays can be triggering for people who feel pressured to put on a happy face when they aren’t feeling that cheerful.” She points out that holidays are a time when friends and family often come together, and even this dynamic can be triggering for someone experiencing a loss or breakup.
Aside from the pressure to adopt a happy face in spite of inner feelings to the contrary (think: toxic positivity), LaSov identifies a number of stressors associated with the holiday season. She notes that loneliness can often be exacerbated, as “a time of togetherness can perpetuate the void they feel from a person’s absence.” Additional stressors may be financial, as she points out that the tendency to overspend — incurring future debt — is common, as is frustration that comes when you cannot give the types of gifts you would like to.
Overindulging is another form of stress that can burden the holiday season. “The holidays are a time where parties, food, and drinks are plentiful,” LaSov shares. “With an increase of events and gatherings, drinking and eating to excess may occur and bring up stress — especially if you are one who makes an effort to be disciplined throughout the year.” Body image insecurities, moodiness thanks to hangovers, or even feelings of shame if you stray from your diet, all represent opportunities for self-compassion — but additional stress nonetheless.
Lastly, there is the unfortunate fact that families themselves can be triggering. “Spending time with family and friends is a beautiful thing, but it is important to know your limits,” she says. “Make sure you create healthy boundaries that allow space for your self-care.” If you’re an introvert, for instance, you might find that you have to retreat from the gatherings in order to recuperate before the next big bash.
Tips to Manage Holiday Stress
LaSov offers up some helpful tips to help manage your wellness in the face of these holiday stressors.
“There’s something to be said about grounding yourself,” she notes. “Something as simple as taking deep, intentional breaths can bring you back to the present moment and away from focusing on what is causing you stress.”
LaSov also emphasizes that healthy boundary-setting is a non-negotiable form of self-care. “Know your limits and set your boundaries beforehand,” she advises. “The first step is to identify situations that cause you to stress or make you feel overwhelmed, then determine if it’s something necessary or worth these moments of discomfort.” If not, she recommends that you make the decision that will allow you to maintain your inner peace. If you do go, shifting your focus onto what makes you feel empowered and calm is a valuable inner tool. “Make a plan on how you will navigate these situations. Focus on what is enjoyable and in your control.”
On a similar note, making financial boundaries is a form of self-care to help prevent the buyer’s remorse — or poor long-term financial planning — that can occur from overindulging in holiday shopping.
Take a Walk
If you begin feeling the telltale signs of stress, temporarily removing yourself from the situation is key to re-establishing your baseline. “Physically removing yourself from the thing that is stressing you out can give you the time to calm down,” LaSov says.
Lastly, she reminds all of us that there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help — especially if the holidays are a time of stress or pain for you. “Apart from seeking professional help, being vulnerable with a trusted friend or family member about what you’re struggling with keeps you from going through it alone.” Part of Advekit‘s mission is to provide affordable and accessible healthcare to all, so if you are in search of a therapist or counselor, there is merit in doing so.
A Stress-Relieving Recipe
“When it comes to managing stress, it’s important to use what works for you,” LaSov adds. “CBD has been shown to improve mood, decrease anxiety, and help you sleep better. Coupled with tea, apart from its health benefits, it has the power to soothe.” She notes that the combination is a nice way to help you slow down, promote calmness, and support relaxation. Plus, it can be sipped on with your friends and family. On that note, here are two holiday-ready mocktails (or cocktails, should you desire), featuring Lord Jones CBD gumdrops as stress-relieving garnishes.
Lord Jones Sparkling Gooseberry Tea
- Chamomile Tea
- Elderflower Syrup
- Lemon Slice (¼” thick)
- 1 Lord Jones Sparkling Gooseberry CBD Gumdrop
Method of Preparation:
- Brew a cup of Chamomile tea
- Add one teaspoon of elderflower syrup to taste and lemon slice
- Top with lemonade and/or elderflower syrup
- Pair with a Lord Jones Sparkling Gooseberry CBD Gumdrop
Lord Jones Sugarplum Tonic
- 1 Lemon Sugar Cube
- ¼ tsp Ginger Syrup
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- Club Soda
- Crystallized Ginger
- 1 Lord Jones Sugarplum CBD Gumdrop
Method of Preparation:
- Add one lemon sugar cube and ¼ Ginger Syrup to a rock glass and stir with a cinnamon stick to dissolve the sugar
- Top with Chilled Club Soda
- Drop one Lord Jones Sugarplum CBD Gumdrop into the glass and watch it fizz
- Sip and enjoy