A Answers (6)
The holidays are usually stressful times due to a variety of reasons including increased demands, isolation, absence of loved ones, financial concerns and dietary changes. Activities such as parties, baking, shopping, wrapping, volunteering and visiting increase during this time. Holidays are also a time when people remember lost loved ones, which can bring on feelings of sadness and loneliness that worsens stress. It is important to plan ahead, continue healthy habits and balance your schedule during these times in order to enjoy these festivities instead of feeling overwhelmed by them.
Joshua C. Klapow, PhD, Psychology, answeredThe holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and bliss, but for many people the preparations and obligations lead to added stress. Here are some tips to help you keep your holiday stress in check:
- Be realistic about the holidays. They don't need to be perfect to be joyous. Remind yourself that there will be good times and bad times.
- Remember that it's okay to feel stressed, sad, and angry during the holidays. Feeling bad doesn't mean the holidays are ruined.
- Slow down and prioritize your activities. You can't attend every party, buy every gift, cook every meal, and visit every relative. Write down everything you plan to do during the holidays, and then read the list out loud. Is it a reasonable list? If not, start crossing things off.
- Pay attention to your health. Get plenty of sleep, try to eat right, and exercise when you can. Your holiday won't be joyous if you are sick or overstressed.
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You can manage holiday stress by setting a realistic plan and develop strategies for how you will approach the holiday season. One of the areas that top the list for holiday stress is overspending and disorganization. You can decrease stress by developing a budget for gift buying and staying within your budget and creating a plan.
A great plan may include:
- a list of your proposed plans for the holidays
- deciding on a plan for gift buying and returns
- planning your menu for the holiday
- planning the days and times for visits with friends and family
It's official. Our turkey focus is over. Whether we like it or not, we are thrown full force into all the excitement, craziness, and stress of the holiday season right after turkey day. Holiday mania actually seems to even kick in right after Halloween with all the early bird sales and holiday retail displays over the past few years. With all that mania, you may also get hit with a bunch of stress that can wear you down both physically and emotionally. Before you get overwhelmed with stress, consider trying some of these strategies to happily get through this holiday season with less stress:
- Daily Task List: Make a daily manageable list for shopping, planning, decorating, and organizing. Getting things done in smaller allotments will help you feel like things are getting accomplished in a timely and organized manner.
- Listen to Music: Try decorating and organizing with music in the background. Singing or humming along can make a more enjoyable day of holiday prep work.
- Research Sales: Go online and see when the big sales are happening. Last minute shopping is stressful for anyone.
- Quick Massage: Maybe the holiday season should be the best time to stop at those mini massage kiosks at your local mall. That 10 minutes of massage could do wonders for your body and spirit. Throw some deep breathing in and you could let go a bunch of stress.
- 30 Minute Walk: You can always count on exercise to reduce stress and help you feel rejuvenated. Walk in the brisk air to get your thoughts together too. Don't let stress ruin your holiday experience.
- Try some of these stress reduction strategies to smile through the holiday season. Plan how to handle the holiday stress and you can keep it manageable. Isn't it worth a try?
As hard as it may be to believe at times, you really are in charge of the stress level of your holiday season. Though family and friends may try to make you feel otherwise, you have a choice about what activities you do and don't do. The trick is to prepare ahead of time…because if you're not careful it can REALLY catch you off guard.
Reflect on the past: what was most stressful for you last year? How can you make it less stressful this year - or even better, eliminate it all together? Choose to change what doesn't work for you.
Another thing to be careful of is thinking that loving your family means killing yourself to get them the "perfect present." Some moms unconsciously equate their own value with their ability to give gifts. You are valuable because of your heart, not because of giving the holiday "it" gift this year.
The bottom line is that no holiday season will be perfect. It will just be, at best, a time to spend with your family and show each other how much you appreciate one another. If you can work towards that, then you have every chance of a great and stress-free holiday season. So relax and enjoy yourself! Have fun with it. It's all up to you!
Deborah Serani, PsyD, Psychology, answeredOver expectation is the single biggest cause of holiday stress. Unrealistic hopes that everything will be perfect, and everyone will be happy can only lead to disappointment, frustration and even depression. Be realistic and enjoy the true meaning of the holidays, which is about celebration and togetherness – not perfection.Helpful? 4 people found this helpful.