GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The holiday season is synonymous with bringing on so much joy with family, friends, food and fun. But it can also bring on a lot of unwarranted stress.

Some of problems arise if people are unable to spend the holidays with their loved ones or if they are spending too much time with them. That double-edged sword is why Wedgewood Christian Services has passed along a list of tips to mitigate stress no matter how you celebrate the season.

“If you are going out and you do have a ton of holiday parties, that’s fun, that’s great. But also when you have the time alone, make sure that it’s productive for you and that it is the time alone that you enjoy and that you need,” Jacklyne Eding, an outreach clinician at Wedgewood said.

The big suggestion Eding gave to News 8 was to have regular check-ins with yourself throughout the season. Ensure that you have the mental and physical capacity to take on whatever you’re doing. Don’t go out, stay in or overwork yourself because you feel obligated.

“Holidays are not a time to give up barriers for yourself,” Eding said. “I know a lot of people think, ‘Oh, it’s a holiday, I should be with these people because we should be around family or great friends.’ You don’t have to give up the barriers even when you’re in your holiday season. If you find that when you check in with yourself and you’re over-stressed and you can’t make that commitment or you do feel a little bit more lonely, it’s OK to take the time for you.”

While many will spend at least some of the season with family or friends, Eding also said that there is a difference between being and feeling alone. If you are alone, you can still enjoy the time you spend on things you want to do. But if you feel alone, then that may be the time to reach out and see what options you have to spend that time with people.

Eding also wants people to be mindful of their own social battery leading up to and following the celebrations.

A full list of tips can be found below:

  • Check-in with yourself
  • Practice self-care
  • Practice being mindful
  • Get some exercise when you can
  • Get your rest
  • Laugh
  • Talk positively about yourself
  • Connect with others
  • Breathe

If you or a loved one are in need of help during the holiday season or throughout the year, you can contact Wedgewood by clicking here or calling the organization at 616.942.7294.