12.20.18 – How to Survive an unHappy Holiday

Thursday, December 20, 2018

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The APFA EAP Department would like to reach out and wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday.  We also wanted to acknowledge that the holidays can bring stress and pressure for many as this season of joy can have high expectations for ourselves and others.  We all have a picture in our minds of what an ideal holiday would look like, and we can run ourselves into the ground trying to live up to it.  The holidays can be stressful for everybody and add additional challenges for many of us already living with depression, anxiety, illness or even recovery.

Here are a few tips to help you get through the holiday blues:

Make realistic expectations and goals for the holiday season.
Set boundaries and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Trying to do too much will only add to your sense of stress.  Also, make it a priority to take a break occasionally and decompress.  Take a walk, meditate or whatever recharges you.

Pace yourself.  Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle.

Make a list and prioritize the important activities.  This can help make holiday tasks more manageable.

Do not put all your energy into just one day (for example Christmas, New Year’s Eve).
The holiday cheer can be spread from one holiday event to the next.

Live “in the moment” and enjoy the present.
Part of managing the pressures of the holidays is trying to stay in the present and be part of the full emotional experience happening right now, and not focusing on the next task.

Communicate your expectations.  Somehow during the holidays, it may seem a little more difficult
communicating with others.  We aren’t mind readers, yet we often expect people to intuitively know our needs and expectations.  It is unfair to our friends and family to hold them accountable to our unspoken expectations, and truthfully, we are also being unfair to ourselves because it sets us up to be disappointed and overwhelmed.

Look to the future with optimism.

If you are lonely, try volunteering some of your time to help others.
Spend time with supportive and caring people.
Reach out to a trusted friend or loved one, somebody with whom you can be yourself. 

Find holiday activities that are free, such as looking at holiday decorations or going window shopping.

Limit your consumption of alcohol, since excessive drinking will only increase your feelings of depression.
Fun doesn’t need to revolve around alcohol.  Festivities center around doing things that we enjoy or bringing joy to others.

Try something new.  Celebrate the holidays in a new way.

Reach out and make new friends.

Let others share the responsibilities of holiday tasks.

Make time to contact a long-lost friend or relative and spread some holiday cheer.
Holidays are supposed to be a happy, wonderful time.  What happens if you’re not feeling happy or wonderful?  If you notice somebody struggling or isolating, it’s okay to reach out.  Invite them for coffee and see how they’re doing.

Keep track of your holiday spending. Overspending can lead to depression when the bills arrive after the holidays are over.

Take a break from social media.  Not everything you do needs to be shared immediately. It’s hard enough dealing with the demands of the holiday season without adding in the sense that everything must be “picture perfect”.

Prioritize your self-care.  Nurture your whole self mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually for a complete sense of wellness.  If you approach difficult times from a good place, then you’ve created a foundation to reduce stress.

Lastly, feel free to contact:

APFA EAP Department (817) 540-0108 extension 8701 and an EAP rep on call will return your call.  The APFA-AA Critical Incident Response Team at (800) 998-8194.

Optum EAP (800) 363-7190 Offers 24-hour telephonic assistance and counseling. Employees have the option to meet with a counselor for up to four in-person counseling sessions free of charge, if covered under BCBS.

We provide confidential support and we are here for you to assist you with information, resources and referrals and a friendly ear.

We send you the warmest holiday wishes to you and your loved ones.

Happiest of Holidays from your APFA EAP Department,

Abby Alconcher
Susie Wallace
Heidi Sakacs
Bill Ibarra
Joe Stanko
Sharon Dunn

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077


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