Holiday Stress: How You Can Avoid It

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Holiday Stress

Every year, just like clockwork, we know it happens, and we vow to get ahead of the game each time. But, here we are a day late and a dollar short. Again.

It’s hard to pinpoint when the holidays went from family and making memories to ridiculous stress and shopping like a madman, but, what we do know is, you can enjoy the holidays and avoid the stress with a few of these helpful tips.

Now, Bring us Some Figgy Pudding…

Just kidding, but an extra slice of pie sounds nice…

Now, where were we? Ah, yes. Stress. We can’t avoid holiday stress 100%, of the time, but we can make a concerted effort to ward it off at the pass. And that means postponing family feuds.

One of the greatest sources of holiday stress and anxiety is family feuds gatherings. There’s even a coined term known as FGA – Family Gathering Anxiety.

We all have them, in fact, one study reports that three-quarters of us have one family member that annoys us. Sorry, Uncle Frank.

“Everyone’s a child at Christmas,” the saying goes. At Thanksgiving, however, everyone simply acts like one. Because family feuding is a major source of holiday stress, we suggest a few ways to steer clear of it.

  1. Declare a truce – Easier said than done, we know, but if at all possible, pinpoint the issue before the gathering and attempt to solve the problem(s) before you gather around the dinner table.
  2. Remember the reason for the season – Though, usually lost in the mix of the holiday rush, remember the actual reasons we celebrate.
  3. Human shields – Use the kids. No, seriously, albeit a bit sneaky, children have delicate ears and innocent hearts so use them to your advantage. Strategically place children throughout the celebration, that way, tongues will have to be held and Uncle Frank’s bad habits will be kept in check.
  4. LaughSometimes you just have to laugh. Just like music, humor has astonishing capabilities. Despite your efforts to avoid it, sometimes it happens. Use laughter to defuse the drama bomb and hopefully ease the tension. If all else fails, find the ‘nogg. Just kidding.

The holiday frenzy can quickly get out of hand and before you know it, the holidays have passed you buy and you didn’t enjoy a single moment of them. It’s hard to remain realistic during the holidays, with all the sales pitches and glitz and glamour, but sticking to a budget can definitely help. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Rather, donate to a charity, give homemade gifts, or start a family gift exchange!

Plan ahead. Schedule specific days for shopping, baking, and visiting with friends and family. Plan out your menus and make a shopping list before heading to the store. That way you prevent last-minute scrambling and forgotten ingredients. No one likes a pumpkin pie without the pumpkin.

Learn to say no. Often times we say yes to avoid hurt feelings, but more times than not, we end up feeling resentment and overwhelmed. It’s impossible to participate in every project or activity, so kindly say thanks for the offer, but I’ll have to pass this time.

Also, don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all and derail your healthy habits. Overindulging will only add to your stress and guilt so make a plan and stick to it!

Lastly, but certainly not least, take a breather. Make time for just you. Spend time alone, without distractions, to restore your inner calm and help you refresh.

  • Take a walk in the evening when things are calm and you can clear your head and stargaze.
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Get a massage. You deserve it.
  • Read a favorite book

It’s hard to steal away those moments to ourselves, but the outcome is more than worth it. Especially when it comes time to deal with Uncle Frank!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Remember, the holidays are about giving, but that doesn’t mean we have to give so much of ourselves that we need January to re-coup! Enjoy the people in your life, rather than the things you want, or don’t have. Remember the true reasons for why we celebrate and look forward to making a lifetime of memories!

~Dr. Marea White