This time of year is filled with holiday songs, delicious food and gift shopping. However, all of the hustle and bustle can lead to stress, especially during this year when the uncertainty of a new COVID mutation. Family Counseling Service of West Alabama (FCS) would like to offer tips on how to handle what can be a stressful and difficult time: ● Set boundaries – Much of our stress comes from the obligations we feel towards others. While some of this is necessary to maintain positive relationships, you need to guard against being taken advantage of or overloaded. You know how much you can do before you reach that point of feeling irritable, grouchy and overwhelmed. When that happens, not only have you lost your own joy, but you affect those around you as well. Enjoy your holiday on your own terms, as much as possible, and set your own boundaries, even if you have to say "No" to a few requests. ● Plan ahead – You've been through the holidays before, so you have a general idea of what to expect. Anticipate what your primary obligations are for this season and prioritize them, making sure that secondary obligations do not take away from the things that are most important to you. Give some thought to the likely barriers that most often crop up and plan for ways to keep them from derailing you or taking up more of your attention than they should. ● Focus on your health - While the holidays are a time for sharing joy with family and friends, staying healthy so you can enjoy many more holiday seasons is the most important. Follow local, state and CDC guidelines to ensure you are enjoying the holidays safely. Making a tough call to cancel traditions can be difficult in the moment but is a sign of love and care for those around you. ● Focus on creating memories - Rather than allowing the busyness of the season to overshadow your joy, focus on slowing down and embracing this season. This a year to create new memories that you can carry with you after the holidays and this pandemic are behind you. Sometimes it’s not easy to follow certain tips and you just need to talk to someone. Family Counseling Service is here to help because we want the holidays to be a joyous time for everyone.
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