The holidays are here and which means holiday stress is here and sometimes it’s a bucket load of stress. Whether it is from family, financial struggle or just mentally dealing with the holiday it can be rough. It’s the most joyous time of year yet we can find ourselves drowning in so much to do. I mean planning the perfect gift for each family member, decorating the house just right, or figuring out how to execute the perfect Christmas menu, not to mention the regular daily activities, things can get hectic.

For me, December is one of the happiest months of the year. I love the holidays and spending Christmas with my family is something I look forward to. Despite my eagerness for the holiday, I find myself under stress and never really know how to combat it. This year I planned ahead to get in front of the stress I knew that was to come.

holiday-stress

Here is a mixture of helpful tips I found and use personally to deal with the 3 stressors of the holidays

Dealing with Mental stress

 

  • Take a break! Make sure you spend time with yourself to clear your mind. Dealing with work and family can be a lot sometimes so make sure to take a day or even a few hours to gather your thoughts. Remember if you don’t take a day willingly your body will force you to take one. 
  • Reach out. If you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to someone, never feel like you’re being a burden. Maybe find the time to video chat, text, or call just to talk about your day, the briefest interaction can go a long way to combat depression. 
  • Not everything has to be perfect. You will drive yourself insane striving for perfection when doing your best and completing the task is enough. It’s understandable to want everything to look and feel a certain way but imperfections are a part of life.

Financial stress

  • Make a plan/ budget. Knowing the holidays are coming up, always try to budget and think about how much you want to spend on gifts along with your regular bills and daily expenses. Spending some time to plan it out can make things a lot easier. 
  • Try to remember it’s the thought that counts. Be realistic,  lavish gifts are nice but try to get more personal and in touch with your creative side. Something from the heart is worth a lot more than just buying something. 

Family Stress 

  • Protect your mental. Nobody knows how to test your patience like your family. Just because someone had an opinion on your life doesn’t mean you have to take what they say as gospel. Ignore them and move forward, you are exactly where you are supposed to be in life and they have no say on that timeline. If they aren’t experts then the advice they give shouldn’t be taken to heart. 
  • Take a break from controversy. You are not always going to agree with everybody, so don’t waste your energy arguing. Simply acknowledging that they have their own opinion and you have yours is fine enough, if they are not willing or able to understand your point leave it alone. Maybe take a break from the conversation or take a walk. Keep it Cordial! 
holiday-stress

Learning your Holiday triggers can prevent a meltdown or added stress. I’m not saying that the holidays will ever be easy but we can strive to not put added stress on ourselves. Holidays can sometimes bring up unhappy memories, knowing that this time of year is coming, find the time to seek help or talk to someone. You don’t have to be alone, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer or be helpful during this season. Put emphasis on spending time with family and friends to avoid feeling alone.

Personally, every year I struggle financially because I feel like my family deserves everything and more. This year I planned out what check will pay for what, and what I could put on a credit card and it took some of the tension out of my neck. Although it hasn’t completely erased the financial stress, planning ahead eased the feeling of being overwhelmed. Find what works for you and go with it. 

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!