Hidden by association with relaxation, leisure and joy, the holidays can be a major cause of stress for many. With the holiday season upon us, you may already be feeling the tension.
Where does holiday stress come from? The answer may lie in the fact that many often hold higher expectations for the holidays compared to other times of the year. The hopes of picture-perfect occasions filled with stress-free family time are often an unreasonable dream.
Stress can also be felt during the intricate planning most endure to prepare for the holidays, as well as feeling pressured to buy expensive gifts. The stress begins to grow, unless you prepare for it.
If you are concerned that the upcoming holiday season will be stressful for you, there are steps you can take to prevent stress.
First, contemplate if your holiday expectations are realistic. If you set unreasonably high expectations for yourself or others, you will feel defeated early on when things don’t go perfectly. Set small, reachable goals. If you fall short, don’t despair; take joy in the expectations that you did meet.
When planning for the holidays, you can avoid stress by setting a spending limit (and sticking to it), creating to-do lists, sharing the responsibilities with other people and not taking on too many tasks.
But, it’s not just the planning that causes stress; the events themselves can be sources of stress. During the holidays, remember to designate time for yourself apart from the group activities. Too much time with others can overwhelm you and cause you to forget about your own needs.
The holidays can be a fun time, so remember to enjoy them! Take care of yourself and look forward to the positive aspects of the season.