5 Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays
It’s the holiday season — a time filled with parties, festivities, and quality time with family. With all the busyness attached to the holidays, it can lead to feeling stressed or anxious. If you start to feel this way or have felt this way before, do not worry, you are not alone!
The bright side is that there are ways to handle these feelings during the holidays so they don’t overwhelm you. Let’s explore five strategies for managing stress during the holiday season.
1. Enjoy the Outdoors
Exercise and being outside can boost your mood and reduce stress. Even though the days may be shorter during the holiday season, you may experience seasonal weather depending on where you live.
There are a lot of different activities you can do outside depending on your location, such as:
● Taking a walk or walking a pet
● Ice skating
● Snow tubing
● Playing a sport
You can engage in other activities in addition to the ones mentioned above, but enjoying the outdoors and taking time away from the screen is a great way to manage stress.
2. Get Rest
It can be easy to ignore your sleeping routine and stay up later than usual during the holidays, especially during the break. However, sleep is a key puzzle piece in helping you be less vulnerable to feeling stressed. Lack of sleep can increase stress and anxiety, affecting your immune system and making it more challenging to go to sleep.
Take some time to relax and rest your body. On average, a teenager should get eight to nine hours of sleep. Be consistent with the time you go to bed and wake up, just as you would during your traditional daily routine so you can properly manage your stress.
3. Stay Connected
Being a teenager during the holidays could mean many family activities packed into a short amount of time. When this happens, it is normal to feel disconnected from some of your close friends as they may be busy too. Try to plan ahead with your friends or reach out to schedule a time to get together. If you cannot connect in person, schedule a time on the phone or via video call.
Staying connected with your friends over the holidays will help you avoid the stress that comes with the feeling of being overloaded with family time only.
4. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
A great way to manage stress is to reflect on what you are thankful for. When displaying an attitude of gratitude, think about all the things you have and the people in your life you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude brings with it a feeling of happiness and fulfillment.
Focusing on what you are grateful for can also be uplifting, especially around the holidays with all the hustle and bustle. Take time to express gratitude towards others, too, because spreading joy and making others feel happy can increase your happiness and decrease stress levels.
5. Schedule ‘You’ Time
As nice as it is during the holidays to spend time with your family and friends, it is equally important that you spend time with yourself. Self-reflection and acknowledgment are great ways to manage stress. Think about the things you enjoy doing most. Go out and do one of those, even on your own if possible.
‘You’ time is also an opportunity to implement some deep breathing techniques and other calming activities. Deep breathing is relaxing and can combat stress levels. Implementing a 5-10 inhale/exhale deep breathing count can help release any tension. Take a deep breath, inhale for a count of 5, and then exhale for a count of 10. Make sure to breathe through your belly, as that adds a calming effect to it.
‘You’ time is a great opportunity to unwind, implement breathing techniques, and slow down during the holiday season rush.
Happy Holidays from Our Team
We would like to wish you a happy holiday season and let you know that we are here to support teenagers and their families when it comes to substance use health education.
Our team services the Montgomery County, Maryland area, where we offer services and programs that focus on helping teenagers with substance use. We also have a 24/7 Crisis Line available to help immediately if a crisis does occur.
Contact us today if you have any questions, feel stressed, or need our help in regards to the services and programs we offer!
Teen Substance Use & Misuse – Consequences You Need to Know
Teen substance use remains a serious problem in the United States, leading to a variety of consequences that extend beyond the law. With continued use, substance use can impact a teen physically, emotionally, relationally, and personally.
Understanding the negative outcomes is a crucial step that teens can take to protect themselves. If someone pressures you to engage in substance use, knowing the consequences can help you make the right decision.
Here is a list of the most important substance use and misuse consequences for teenagers that you need to know.
Effect on Growth and Development
Teenagers are still at an age where they are growing and developing, which consequently can be negatively affected by substance use.
Three main areas can suffer as a result of substance use:
1. Immune System: Using drugs or alcohol can have both short- and long-term effects on the immune system. Digestive tract damage, protein absorption difficulties, the lack of storing essential vitamins, a reduction of white blood cells, dehydration, respiratory or lung damage, and insomnia can all occur as a result of substance use. It can even elevate a teenager’s risk of getting HIV or AIDS because substance use alters judgment. This altered judgment could lead to sexually active behaviors without the use of contraception which increases the risk of contracting HIV. Injected drug use can also lead to HIV or AIDS due to contamination on the device used to inject.
2. Heart: Substance use can lead to an increased heart rate or disrupt the heartbeat, which could lead to an increased risk of a heart attack.
3. Brain: The brain is where the strongest effects of substance use are seen. Since a teenager’s brain is still developing, the consequences could last a lifetime. Substance use can lead to depression, irritability, withdrawal, anger, and chemical imbalances, which all increase the risk of suicide.
Encounters with the Law
Teen substance use can lead to encounters with the law. Legal action may be taken against youth for using the drugs or alcohol themselves, along with any unlawful acts committed while under the influence, such as stealing, vandalism, or violence. As a result, consequences with the law may vary from probation to potentially facing jail time, depending on the severity of the illegal acts.
Substance use can have a negative impact on relationships with family and friends. When teens engage in substance use, they may become caught up in these habits and forget about prior obligations with family or friends. It may even get to the point where the teenager begins ignoring their family or friends, resulting in damaged or lost relationships.
Family and friends are crucial resources in life, and engaging in substance use can lead to losing these relationships.
Financial consequences can also occur as a result of substance use. These consequences can extend further than affecting only the teenager themselves, as the teen may attempt to steal or borrow money from family or friends to purchase the substances. This can damage relationships as well as incur debt.
Work and School Difficulties
Work and school life can also suffer consequences as a result of substance use. A teenager may start arriving to work late, skipping work, or even becoming aggressive at work. These behaviors could result in job loss or other consequences from the place of employment.
School attendance may begin to slip, grades may drop, or aggressive acts could occur at school by teenagers who engage in substance use. This leads to potential consequences such as failing a grade, suspension, or even expulsion.
How We Can Help
Substance use can affect all areas of life and result in significant consequences for the individual. We understand how substance use can negatively affect a teenager’s life, which is why we want to help!
We service the Montgomery County, Maryland area and offer various programs and services that focus on helping teenagers with substance use. Additionally, we have a 24/7 Crisis Line available if a crisis occurs and you need immediate help!
Our team is here to provide support to teenagers and their families. Contact us today if you need our help or have questions about the programs and trainings we offer.