7 Coping Strategies for the Upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving blues

7 Coping Strategies for the Upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday

The holidays are a time for joy and celebration, but for many people they can also be a time of stress and anxiety. The Thanksgiving holiday is often a particularly difficult time, as it can be a reminder of all the things we’re grateful for but also of all the things we’re missing.  If you are feeling sad, anxious, or stressed during the holidays, there are things that you can do to help cope. This blog post provides 7 helpful tips on how to deal with the holiday blues.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings.

The first step in coping with any kind of emotional distress is acknowledging that you’re feeling it. Don’t try to push your feelings away or ignore them – that will only make them worse. Just let yourself feel whatever it is you’re feeling, even if it’s uncomfortable.  When you feel overwhelmed, take some time to relax and recharge. Just taking a few minutes for yourself can help clear your head and calm your nerves.

  1. Connect with friends and family.

The holiday season can be a lonely time for many people.  Talking to someone can help you feel more connected and less alone. Friends and family members can be a great source of support, especially if they’re understanding and sympathetic. Reach out to friends and family members who you can trust and lean on.

  1. Spend time outside.

Spending time outside can help improve your mood and boost your energy level. Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for your mental health. 

  1. Keep busy.

If you are feeling down, try to keep busy with activities that you enjoy. This can help distract you from negative thoughts and feelings.  Exercising, for instance, can help you release tension and stress. It can also improve your mood.  

  1. …But don’t try to do too much!

Set limits with how many tasks you will take on leading up to the holiday week and create a small list for yourself to help stay organized.  The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving can be very busy, so take some time to get organized and make a plan. Make a list of what needs to be done, and delegate tasks to family members or friends as needed.  Prioritize 1-2 tasks on your list to make it easier to decide what to do each day. It’s ok to say no to unexpected plans and favors that seem too overwhelming.

  1. Reach out to a support group or online community focusing on topics related to  mental health.

There are many online forums and support groups where you can find comfort and solidarity from others who are going through the same thing.  The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) has a helpline that you can also access throughout the week if you are needing some additional support.

The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., ET.

Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), text “HelpLine” to 62640 or email us at helpline@nami.org

  1. Set Limits

The holidays can be a busy time, with parties and gatherings to attend, gifts to buy and wrap, food to prepare, and trees to decorate. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. So give yourself permission to take a break when you need it and to be realistic with your expectations. The holidays can also be a time of excess. It’s easy to overindulge in food, drinks, shopping, and other activities.  Practice mindfulness to connect with how you are feeling and limit tasks as needed.

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