10 Mental Health Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

Center Taps Clinical Staff to Help People Successfully Navigate the Holiday Season

LOS ANGELES, December 6, 2017 — Social isolation is one of the biggest predictors of depression, especially during the holiday season, along with the added stress and anxiety that is common during this time of year.

As one of the nation’s leading non-profit community mental health centers, The Maple Counseling Center (TMCC) and its team of clinical therapists offer 10 tips to ensure a safe, happy and stress-free holiday season:

  1. Make a budget. Create a spending plan for gifts and giving, and try to stick to it. Remember that the holidays are not about how much you spend, but about the connections you make.
  2. Set expectations. Spending time with family over the holidays can be rewarding, as well as challenging. Have realistic expectations of the holidays and of your friends and family. Adjust expectations so that you can maximize pleasant aspects and minimize friction.
  3. Exercise. Take a walk, join a yoga class, or just take a moment to breathe or meditate. Center yourself, remember what is important to you, and let that be your guide. Finding some “me”
    time also can be very helpful at relieving stress.
  4. Focus on others. Reach out to others who are less fortunate, and keep in mind the true spirit of the holidays. Volunteering also can be very helpful to offset a “poor me” attitude.
  5. Limit news consumption. Following national headlines of sexual harassment allegations, politics and economic uncertainty are sure to add unneeded stress and anxiety. Try to limit news consumption, and instead direct your attention to a book or novel.
  6. Communicate. Discuss holiday plans with your significant other. Deciding together what you want the holidays to be like is a great way to avoid resentment and potential conflict. Build quality time into your itinerary, just for the both of you.
  7. Practice patience. Roads are especially frantic this time of year with impatient drivers. Getting to your destination a few minutes earlier or snagging a closer parking spot are not worth the added stress or higher risk of an accident.
  8. Maintain a healthy diet. Holidays come with lots of extra sweets, so be mindful of what you at. However, don’t be afraid to treat yourself every now and then.
  9. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Hosting and planning holiday festivities can be stressful, but remember that it’s okay not to be perfect. Do not let trivial matters get you down, focus on the big picture.
  10. Get help. If necessary, take advantage of confidential toll-free helplines for depression and suicide if you need to talk to someone and may not know where to start. Seek out non-profit organizations like The Maple Counseling Center that offer accessible mental health treatment, regardless of your ability to pay.

About The Maple Counseling Center
Founded in 1972, The Maple Counseling Center (TMCC) is a private, nonprofit community mental health center that serves the greater Los Angeles area. The Center’s mission is to provide low cost comprehensive mental health services to adults, children, couples and families, and training for associates and trainees working toward licensure in the mental health field. The Center also collaborates with other community organizations to provide mental health services in underserved areas of Los Angeles County. Open six days a week, TMCC counselors treat a range of issues, including anxiety, depression, family and relationship conflicts, and grief and loss. For more information on TMCC, visit www.tmcc.org, follow on Twitter @MapleCounseling and like on Facebook at The Maple Counseling Center.