The holidays are the best time of the year, but they can also be stressful. Holiday stress creeps its way in around Halloween and tends to linger till after New Year’s Eve. The expected gift-giving, holiday shopping, cooking, cleaning, and seemingly never-ending holiday activities can add a lot to our already full to-do list. To truly be able to enjoy the holidays, learn how to cope with holiday stress and make time for yourself during this season of giving.
What Causes Holiday Stress?
- Doing too much
- Eating and drinking too much
- Financial strain
- Lack of togetherness
- Family expectations
- Seasonal affective disorder
Tips To Cope With Holiday Stress:
Shift your mindset and try to set an intention to enjoy the holidays as much as you can. If you go into the holidays with the idea that everything will go wrong or be stressful, you’re not giving yourself a chance to see things differently. By setting positive intentions during the holidays, you are opening your mind to accept the good moments.
Manage your expectations! If a positive mindset is important, it is just as important to be realistic. Things will go wrong, you won’t get everything you want, but not everything has to be perfect to have a wonderful time.
Give yourself permission to say no sometimes. There is no reason to attend to every single obligation if you’re exhausted or have too much going on. Delegate what you can and try to manage your time so that you protect some moments for yourself. Keep in mind that the most important part of the holidays is spending it with loved ones; it’s okay to leave the rest behind if needed.
Come up with answers to difficult questions. If you know you are going to be around friends and family members who might ask difficult or frustrating questions, prepare your answers ahead of time. This practice will help you feel less anxious about family gatherings and allow you to enjoy yourself in the knowledge you are prepared. Remember that “I’d prefer not to talk about that” is always a valid response.
Take time for yourself. Self care is incredibly important during the holidays, and is often times overlooked because of everything that ‘needs’ to get done. Don’t stop taking care of yourself or doing the things that bring you peace. Protect your energy. How can you be fully present and appreciative of those around you if you’re completely zapped? The best gift you can give friends or family is your energized, engaged self.
Practice gratitude. The holidays are a great time to reflect on all the good in your life. Reflect on your blessings and share that gratitude with friends and family around you.