Much of the holiday stress begins right about this time of year – before Thanksgiving and through the beginning of January. For some that could mean nearly two months depressed or stressed at a time that is supposed to be celebratory and enjoyable.
Holiday stress can come to us in many ways. For some, it has been going on for so long that it is almost a habit. You may assume you will be stressed, and then seem to bring it on. Holiday season doesn’t have to automatically mean that you have additional stress. If you think about it in advance and circumvent the issues that often cause the stress in the first place, perhaps you can work to eliminate it altogether!
Let’s look at planning and putting on a party or event.This can often be just too much, yet we do it anyway. For others even just attending parties is too much.
Do any of these reasons resonate with you why attending a party can be so stressful?
- We must put ourselves in the right frame of mind to be sociable in a crowd of people.
- We have to get dressed up which could be an ordeal for a person not used to doing this.
- We may have to arrange childcare or re-arrange other plans to attend.
- We need to plan time to either shop for or make a hostess gift.
- We will be keeping later hours than we are used to
- We will probably be eating and drinking more than we are accustomed
- We may suffer headaches and poor sleep from additional nights out
- We might find ourselves having unproductive days resulting in unhappiness
When I coach a client who is dealing with something potentially stressful we look at all the aspects of the concern and break it down.
What is really happening to be stressed about?
Why must there be stress?
Is there a way to enjoy the activity coming up without having stress?
Many times it just seems like thething to do because that’s what it seems like everyone else is doing. How about THIS year, reframe the situation and don’t buy into the stress game?
You know what is going to come up, right? Here are the commonsituations that tend to be part of every holiday season and great ways to managethem:
By knowing what, where, and when the parties are occurring in advance, you can decide what to attend and what to decline. Just because you are invited doesn’t mean you have to go. Attend the events that will be a positive experience. Figure out days prior what you will wear and what you need to bring or prepare well in advance of the party date.
- Gift buying, wrapping and shipping/giving
Buy as much as you can as soon as you can, and start wrapping and prepping well in advance. Like now! Don’t leave anything to the last minute that you can do earlier.
- More cooking and baking…
If you are someone who tends to cook or bake, there are probably a few things you can do ahead of time and freeze. This saves time and stress! For the rest of the prep, schedule the time in your calendar and plan well ahead of time.
- Extra expenses for the above…
Be realistic about your expenditures, make a budget, plan it out, and stick to it. Don’t go into debt and begin the new year in thered. Cut back on something else in the weeks of the holiday season to accommodate the items that you will want to spend money on instead.
Take time to give yourself a ‘time out’ often. Going through the holiday season is a bigger burden if you have emotional issues attached to the season too, so be gently with yourself. Take time to be alone, sit quietly or meditate and don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of all that is going on around you. This year – have a blessed and peace filled holiday season.