Well whether we like it or not the holidays are right around the corner and that means Thanksgiving Dinners, Christmas parties, family visits, in-laws, children’s school functions, Christmas shopping, etc. Are you feeling stressed yet? Let’s look at some of the top stressors during the Holidays and the ways to reduce the stress that can normally happen around this season.

Top Stressors During the Holidays

  1. Relationships
    • Relationships can cause turmoil, conflict or stress at any time, but tensions are often heightened during the holidays. Family misunderstandings and conflicts can intensify, especially while spending several days together in the same house.
    • On the other hand, facing the holidays without a loved one can be tough and leave you feeling lonely and sad.
  2. Finances
    • With the added expenses of gifts, travel, food and entertainment, the holidays can make a big impact on your budget. It also can impact your peace of mind and be a joy robber during the time of year where joy is to be embraced.
    • Overspending can mean financial worries for months to come.
  3. Physical Stress
    • Even the most excited holiday enthusiasts may find that the extra shopping and socializing can leave them wiped out. Being exhausted increases your stress, and creates a vicious cycle in your relationships. Exercise and sleep are good solutions for stress and fatigue and many times they may take a back seat to chores and errands. To top it off, exhaustion makes you more susceptible to colds and other health concerns.

Reducing Stress During the Holidays

  1. Relationships
    • Seek support. Lean on family, friends, religious or community organizations. Also, consider volunteering your time to help others.
    • Set differences aside. Accept your family members for who they are. Keep in mind that you are the only person that you can change.
    • Learn to say no. People will understand. You can’t do everything. If they don’t understand, let them deal with their expectations instead of you trying to fix them.
  2. Finances
    • Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend and then stick to your budget. Don’t go overboard with a multitude of gifts. Here are some alternatives you could try: Donate to a charity in someone’s name, give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange. Keep in mind it’s the relationships in our lives that are most important.
  3. Physical Stress
    • Acknowledge your feelings. Whether you’re sad and lonely or frazzled and frustrated, let it out.
    • Be realistic. You can only do so much!
    • Plan ahead. Schedule shopping, cooking and visiting so you don’t get caught in a last minute rush.
    • Don’t abandon healthy habits. Indulge in moderation.
    • Take a breather. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, take some time for yourself.
  4. Seek support
    • Talk about your anxiety with your friends and family. Getting things out in the open can help you navigate your feelings and work toward a solution for your stress. If you continue to feel overwhelmed, consider seeing a professional to help you develop coping strategies and better manage your stress.