UpStreet Youth Advisory Board

Erin Barr

Clinical Coordinator of UpStreet

Holidays can be a stressful time

Even under normal circumstances, holidays can be a stressful time. And let’s be honest, we’re not living under normal circumstances. Your well-being is incredibly important to us here at UpStreet. So we want to equip you with some tools you can use to help you get through it all. 

Breathe

We’ve said this before and we’ll probably say it again. Because it’s true and it works and it is something we do ourselves. Slow and controlled breathing has amazing benefits. And your breath is something you always have with you.  When you inhale, try to direct the breath into your belly rather than your chest. You should be able to feel and see your belly expand. Exhale through your nose and try to make the exhale longer than the inhale. Breathing this way triggers your body’s relaxation response. For a more detailed explanation on this technique check out this video with JFCS Therapist, Angelica Joy Miskanin.

Move

As in get up and move your body. Physical activity is a huge part of both mental and physical wellness. You don’t need to run a marathon in order to benefit from movement. You can do yoga, jumping jacks, even running up and down the stairs a few times will work.  Bonus points if you can do your physical activity outside so you can get a little fresh air. Getting outside also has the added benefit of giving you a reason to get out of a chaotic or stressful situation inside. 

Gratitude

We’re not just saying this because the post went live the week before Thanksgiving.  It is so easy for us to focus our attention and energy on what is wrong, or broken or upsetting about our lives (looking at you 2020). Taking the time to practice gratitude can make us happier, reduce feelings of depression, increase self-esteem, and make us feel more connected with others. So how do you do it? The easiest and most obvious way is to identify things in your life that you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be super deep or serious. Need some ideas? 

  • Something that made you happy today
  • Something that made you laugh
  • Someone you’re proud of
  • A favorite family tradition
  • Something you accomplished today
  • Something you’re looking forward to

You can share the gratitude with others, just think of them to yourself, or you can write them in a journal. Whatever works best for you!

These are actually great things to do all the time, TBH. They’re not just for the holidays. But we know the holidays are coming and that they’re probably going to look a little (or a lot) different this year. We want you to be ready and feel prepared as much as possible. 

If you want more tools or need someone to talk to come chat with us. We won’t be around on Thanksgiving but we will be there the day after until 8:00pm and until 10:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.