Stress Over the Holidays
Though the holidays are often associated with relaxation, leisure and joy, they also can be a cause of stress. Holiday stress is a very real thing and with the winter holidays now approaching, you may already be feeling the tension.
Why do the holidays cause so much stress in people’s lives? The answer may lie in the fact that people often have higher expectations for the holidays than they do for other times of the year. People expect the holidays to be joyous occasions filled with activities and family time.
The holidays often require careful planning, which is another source of stress, and people often feel pressure to buy expensive gifts, which can cause stress over money.
If you are concerned that the upcoming holiday season will be stressful for you, there are steps you can take to prevent stress.
First, understand if your holiday expectations are even realistic. If you set unreasonably high expectations for yourself for the holiday season and you, more than likely, fall short of them, you will end up feeling disappointment and despair. Evaluate your expectations and make sure that they are reasonable. And 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 and festivities of the holidays also can be sources of stress. During the holidays, remember to leave time for yourself and take reprieves 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 make sure you are taking the necessary steps to enjoy them to the fullest. Take care of yourself and look forward to the positive aspects of the season and the opportunity to connect with others.