Holidays are a time of joy in the year.
Everyone is cheerful and celebrating, the holiday spirit can actually be considered contagious.
Not always in a good way, though.
Certain feelings emerge during the holidays, and not all of them are pleasant.
In fact, some of them are the very opposite of that.
The truth is that there are many stressors to be found during the holiday season, and none of them are pleasant, stress rarely is.
Ranging from the various financial concerns all the way to unrealistic expectations of what your holiday is supposed to be, the holiday stress is not to be taken lightly.
According to one survey, 62% of the participants described their levels of stress as “very or somewhat” elevated during the holidays.
This isn’t a number that can be disregarded easily.
The being said, there are many ways to tackle the varying aspects of holiday stress, and most of them are rooted in the management of responsibilities.
After all, a lot is required of us during the holidays, and the more we take action the more stressed we become.
In light of that, I decided to write down some of my best tips for relieving holiday stress.
By applying these tips you’ll be able to actually enjoy your holidays a bit more.
1. Don’t waste so much money
One thing that always symbolized the holiday season is the huge spending spree that tends to go along with it.
Be it gift shopping or general preparations, the holidays are expensive.
What can be done about that?
The answer is fairly simple: Don’t spend so much money!
Or rather, manage your money more wisely during the holidays.
Normally I would advise you to save money throughout the year for the holidays, but many people either already do that or can’t afford to.
That, and the fact that “money” isn’t the main premise behind the holidays, makes it a bit pointless.
So how about a different approach?
Making handmade gifts, or buying ones with sentimental value, can be just as meaningful as any other gift that would blow up your budget.
Taking a vacation? Great! Make a budget and stick with it.
Buying lot of groceries? Cool! Make a list of what you need beforehand.
No piece of financial advice would ever fit anyone, but with enough effort, most of us will find that there are creative ways to save money.
Most of the expenses that you’ll have during the holidays will not be remembered a few months from now, but their impact might affect you for years to come.
It’s not worth it.
If you won’t manage your money for the sake of being a responsible adult then do so for your own sanity.
2. Don’t waste your time on people that drag you down
For the most part, avoiding negative people is always the smart thing to do, but during the holidays it becomes even more important.
During the holidays’ emotions run high and the stress can bring out the worst in people.
Not all family reunions are necessarily happy and not every dinner can be a pleasant one.
The holidays are a time for you to take a well-deserved vacation, to relax, to enjoy your loved ones.
Don’t spend this time with those who make infect you with their own state of mind.
After all, you cant change the way other people think, you cant change their actions.
But you can change yours, and that makes a huge difference when it comes to stress and anxiety.
3. Plan ahead
It is not uncommon to see people that are just as busy in the holidays as they are during their regular working days.
In some cases, they actually get busier!
There are many reasons for that, with some of the more common ones being the different people that they need to interact with, the food that they need to prepare, the cleaning etc.
The workload as a whole can be a major struggle.
On one hand, you got your friends, on the other, you have the family.
It goes without saying that you will be spending a lot of time pleasing them.
Even then, you have certain groups of friends, some of which might not even know one another, and in some cases, there are also different parts of the family to consider.
For example, rifts in the family can lead it to be split into two, or more, equally attention-dependent groups.
In this case, however, the solution is fairly simple.
All you have to do is to plan ahead.
Having a general idea might not be enough depending on your situation.
Achieving a greater measure of control over your time and efforts can go a long way.
Sure, often times our plans blow up in our faces, and that’s an outcome that you need to be prepared for (more on that later).
Making all of the people-based decisions beforehand, for example, can save you some concern – not to mention the cleaning and other preparations.
In some cases, just writing down a list of things that need to be done can be very helpful.
Plus, lists are a great way to feel productive – Which is important when you have little time to spare.
Then again, in some cases having a certain image in your mind might work against you.
4. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect
On the other side of the spectrum, there are those of us who plan their holidays perfectly.
They need the food to be perfect, the presents to be perfect, the mood to be perfect and the people to be perfect.
It simply has to be their way, or not at all.
By itself, there is nothing wrong with this line of thought.
The problem is that, like I’ve said before, things can go wrong.
In fact, they often times do go wrong.
And a lot of those problems may be very difficult, if not impossible to correct.
In my experience, at least one thing tends not to go according to plan – A broken gift, a sick friend, there is always something.
In a lot of cases, these occurrences (Be they big or small) can ruin an entire month of planning and consideration.
It’s up to you to not let it.
Furthermore, the sheer volume of anticipatory stress that goes into making sure that everything is perfect is ridiculous.
I have known many people who have gone to great lengths to make sure that their holidays are perfect, so much so that they began planning them months in advance.
This image of the perfect holiday is something that will likely not come to pass.
The fact that people try so hard to make sure that it does only ends up working against them.
Instead, you should accept that certain things are just out of your control.
As long as the experience as a whole is good, do the specifics really matter?
A few years from now you won’t even remember what was served during dinner, or what gift you got for whom.
As long as you set yourself up for unrealistic expectations then you are bound to be disappointed, and the more you work towards that goal the more it will sting.
Stop trying so hard.
5. Take care of yourself
The holidays are a time of high emotions and actions.
Like we’ve discussed up until now, the holidays can many different effects on the mind, be they negative or positive.
But what about the physical aspect of the holidays?
Like I’ve said before: For many of us, the holidays are just as tiring as out regular working days.
In many cases, they are even more difficult.
It’s important to remember that the holidays, at their very core, are meant to be a time of peace and rest.
A time that you should be spending with your friends, families and loves ones.
Don’t overwork yourself, don’t lose sleep and make sure to have fun.
After all, for most of us times like these are few and far in between – make sure to make the best of them!
Holiday anxiety and stress will come and go
The most important thing to note about holiday anxiety or holiday stress in general is that they aren’t really “disorders”.
During the holidays’ emotions run high.
We a lot that we need to accomplish and very little time to do so, but once the ordeal is behind us we don’t have to think about it anymore.
Still, this is a real struggle that many people face each year.
Hopefully from this point on your holidays will be a little more peaceful.
But before you go, here’s a question: What are your plans for the holidays?
Make sure to write your answer in the comment section below.
I read every single comment and I would like to hear from you if any of my tips were useful to you.
If you got any personal questions that you would like answered then contact me via Email