Holiday Stress Management for Anxiety and Depression - New Age Psychiatry

Holiday Stress Management for Anxiety and Depression

      Holiday stress management related to anxiety and depression are often caused by (1) difficulty with time management, (2) financial pressures, (3) family events which create stress and emotional triggers, and (4) insecurities toward pleasing friends, family members, and romantic partners.  The primary causes of depression during the holiday season are (1) estrangement from loved ones, (2) grief, (3) loss, and (4) unresolved shame, guilt, and regret.  You may often retreat inward during the holiday season, due to the societal pressure or to your own self-induced pressure to be “happy” or “perfect.”  As a result, you may hide from or deny your painful thoughts and emotions.  However, you can use this internal retreat as a valuable tool for self-reflection and for reaffirming your true higher self.  This process is not always easy, but leaning into these dark moments is the pathway to freedom from past traumas and insecurities.  Holding on too tightly to past traumatic memories and disturbing thoughts will keep you tense, angry, regretful, and “stuck” in sadness and anxiety. 

     Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments for holiday stress management which brought you to this moment in your precious life.  Remind yourself that your past does not define who you are and how you choose to behave in the here-and-now.  Stay focused on your present by recognizing your memory triggers.  No matter what, you can and must visualize your current path which is focused upon a raw openness toward learning from each and every daily event.  Doing a costs and benefits analysis of your thoughts and emotions can separate you from the darkness and give you a more rational and present-focused perspective.  Making daily lists can create immense power and control over your sense of self and can maintain your sense of purpose.  If you do not complete all tasks on your daily list, you must not allow shame or regret to pervade your flow of positivity.  The most effective approach to making daily lists is to create specific, realistic, manageable, and time-framed goals.  I recommend that you put no more than 5 tasks on your daily list.  More than 5 tasks can set you up for feeling like a “failure” if you do not complete all of them.  Completing daily tasks can give you a much-needed sense of pride and purpose. 

Therapeutic Options for Maintaining Your Mental Health During the Holidays

Holiday stress management
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) views psychological problems as based on faulty ways of thinking and on learned patterns of self-defeating behaviors which can be helpful in holiday stress management.  The primary CBT strategies are (1) learning to recognize the cognitive patterns which are creating problematic behaviors, (2) examining these cognitive patterns, (3) gaining a better understanding of the relationship between dysfunctional cognitions and behaviors, and (4) using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult life situations.  CBT strategies can empower you to confront your fears, to communicate in a self-compassionate and assertive manner with those who are causing pain, and to calm your mind and body in the midst of stressful situations.  CBT strategies also help you to specify memories or experiences which have created unhealthy thought patterns, to develop the ability to focus your attention on the present, and to utilize specific actions which are aimed toward what is truly important to your daily well-being.  

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, has also been found to be highly effective in helping individuals to change unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving when addressing holiday stress management.  DBT consists of four main components.  The first component is mindfulness, which is the practice of being fully present and aware of ALL emotions at any given moment.  Mindfulness requires conscious efforts throughout the day and can be a valuable path toward accepting and tolerating any of the powerful emotions which may be experienced when triggered by an upsetting situation or memory during the holiday season.  Mindfulness skills can create a continuous sense of empowerment, patience, and self-compassion in all situations.  A second key component of DBT is distress tolerance, which is the ability to tolerate painful emotions during difficult situations, not to change them.  Distress tolerance is extremely important for recognizing and managing negative situations, which are common during the holiday season.  A third component of DBT is emotional regulation, which involves clarifying your emotions and redirecting unwanted emotions during situations which could trigger anxiety and depression.  Effective emotional regulation includes the use of personally selected mantras or positive self-talk, specific actions (taking a walk, doing deep breathing, talking to a supportive person), journaling, and reading or listening to self-help information.  The fourth component of DBT is interpersonal effectiveness, which includes assertive communication patterns and setting and maintaining healthy boundaries with others.

Transform Chaos into Wisdom

Social comparisons , mental health issues, Resilience

         From my own multitude of personal challenges during the holiday seasons, I have tapped into so much knowledge about my authentic self by allowing in ALL of my feelings, acknowledging the roots of these feelings, and then letting go of these feelings.  Accepting negative life experiences is about learning from them and not allowing them to define who you are.  Focus as often as you can throughout each day upon being the “observer” and not the “reaction” to your disturbing thoughts or to others’ mistreatment.  I promise you that this approach to your life events will create a sense of wisdom over weakness or chaos.  You already have your enlightened self and are capable at any moment to overcome negative thoughts and behaviors even during the holiday stress season.  Procrastination and avoidance of this process often results from the delusion that you need to be “perfect.”  However, if you can accept that each day inevitably involves struggles, then you can allow yourself to lean into these struggles and to use your innate courage to create your new narrative.

Keep reading on Accepting Your Past and Letting Go of Your Present Pain

Accepting your past self-reflection survivor of trauma

New Age Psychiatry

New Age Psychiatry offers licensed and certified psychiatric services through virtual telehealth appointments within the state of Florida. We understand the complexities that come with mental health disorders and symptoms, and we will work hard to help you manage your condition.

         New Age Psychiatry is a modern mental health service in Florida that approaches addiction and other mental health issues with compassion and forward-thinking techniques. New Age Psychiatry offers certified psychiatric services through telehealth appointments in Florida. Some of the highlights of the New Age Psychiatry approach include:

  • Online Screening – We will begin with certified online screening to provide an overview of psychiatric care. We also offer a personalized, specific diagnosis through our psychiatric Telehealth services.
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