Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Bell Let's Talk Day: Stress Tips and Boundaries

Bell Let's Talk Day: Stress Tips and Boundaries

Holiday Stress Tips….

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….unless you are burnt out, over spending or anxious about seeing a family member!

The holidays are wonderful, but they tend to come with some added stress for most of us.  It is mostly because people tend not to have a lot of boundaries at this time of year.  We believe we should put others’ needs ahead of our own; after all it is the season of giving, right?  Well, your therapist would tell you something different.  At this time of year it is especially important to have some healthy boundaries.

Our team at Bliss Counselling would strongly suggest using the following tips as a helpful guide to get you through this difficult time of year.

1.    Try not to take on too much. When possible, encourage people to bring a dish if you are hosting, or if you are visiting, try not to cram in going to too many places in the same day. Burning yourself out will not make your time enjoyable.
2.    Say no!!!  If you feel like you have too many things on the go, it is ok to say no.  No is an answer all in itself.  You can always suggest another day or time in the future.  Christmas Day is December 25th but we don’t have to fit everything and everyone into this ONE day.
3.    Don’t spend too much.  Some of the most valuable gifts don’t include a price tag.  One of the traditions in my family is an experience gift. Make your own gift card and suggest a day of tobogganing and hot chocolate.  You will never regret spending time with your loved ones.
4.    Don’t isolate yourself.  Some people find the holidays challenging because they feel left out.  It is always good to get out rather than to stay at home.  Find a place that brings you some joy.  Walking through a park with Christmas lights or going somewhere you can listen to music.
5.    It’s ok to honour lost loved ones, or those we can’t be close to during the holidays. 
6.    Try and stick to some of your daily routines that make you happy, like working out or enjoying a good book.
7.    If you need to take space because you are upset at something that a family member said, or just overwhelmed with the number of people around you can always go for a walk or drive, or find a quiet space to sit alone.  It’s ok to take a break from everything. 
8.    Make sure to check in with your partner prior to saying yes to things.  This is always a good check point and allows your partner to be a part of the planning process.  They may also provide you with a healthy reminder of when it might be time to say no to something.

Tammy Benwell is a Registered Social Worker who holds an undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of Waterloo and Master’s degree in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. Her formal training focused on interventions for individuals, families, and groups, across various therapeutic orientations.
Ms. Benwell has been afforded extensive opportunities working in mental health, supporting clients with various mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and trauma. Tammy can assist individuals with relationship struggles, codependency, infidelity, separation and divorce, substance abuse, low self-esteem, family concerns, and life transitions. She has additional training in the areas of trauma counselling, and has been trained in EMDR through the Niagara Stress and Trauma Clinic.

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