Practice emotional wellness during the holidays and all year

The holiday season can be stressful for millions of people. Not only might there be pressure to travel and buy gifts, there could be more on one’s plate than usual. This can lead to a couple of months in an ongoing state of stress or feeling overwhelmed. The good news is that there are ways to help beat back the blues and combat stress all season long.

Katie Sandler, a personal development and career coach, notes the importance ”to keep stress under control, so that you can enjoy the holiday season and go into the new year feeling refreshed.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, everyone feels stress from time to time. But if it lasts for weeks, it can make a person sick and lead to unhealthy choices, such as eating too much, smoking or drinking alcohol, or not getting proper sleep. Here are some of the right things to do:

Know and manage the triggers.

Determine what things tend to bring you down or stress you the most. How can you minimize them or be more resilient? Perhaps you can delegate, hire help, opt for delivery services, etc.

Volunteer, find an outlet.

When we spend time helping others–whether it’s helping in a soup kitchen, delivering meals to the elderly, or reading holiday stories to preschoolers–we tend to forget about our own problems and gain a new perspective and emotional well-being. Similarly, personal outlets such as meditating, taking a hike or walk, time in nature, journaling, or learning something new can help you de-stress.

Make time for rest.

Holidays can leave people feeling drained. It’s important to have down time for relaxing, unwinding, and recharging.

Keep it in perspective.

Often, people embellish things and make them seem much worse than they actually are, zapping energy and creating bad moods. When your mood slumps, get to the root of it, tend to it, and keep situations in perspective.

Choose happiness.

Start and end each day with gratitude for another day. Focus on the things you are grateful for, rather than focusing negative things or stressors.

“At first, doing these things seems like work,” Sandler said, but “the more you live your life this way, the easier it becomes, and soon it’s like second nature to have less stress and live in an emotionally well place. Our emotional health is vital to our overall health and success in life. We must cultivate a healthy mindset.”