The holidays really are the best of times and the worst of times. Our tidings of comfort and joy can so easily be devoured by the insatiable stress to do it all, be it all, and buy it all. There’s an expectation that people should feel positive emotions, such as cheer and happiness. Feeling opposite of how you’re supposed to feel can add additional negativity to an already stress-filled time of year.
Often times we place high expectations of ourselves during the holiday season than any other time of year. Your Holiday to-do list keeps growing and growing. you may have parties to plan and attend. Then there is the shopping, the baking, the cleaning, and even more.
It is not surprising that stress, and even depression can happen during the holiday season. There are things you can do to minimize stress that accompanies the holidays.
Managing Holiday Expectations
Set a Realistic Holiday Budget
Money worries are among the biggest causes of stress during the holiday season. To mitigate the stress of gifts, set a realistic budget, make your list early, do your research, and shop online. The retail store madness isn’t worth the stress of going out after work, fighting for a parking spot, and contending with long lines. Set realistic expectations for gift giving. This will alleviate any pressure to spend more than you’re comfortable with. You can make the holidays special without breaking the bank.
Recognize Your Limitations
There are only 24 hours in a day, and there is a limit to how much you can accomplish. The holiday season increases the demand on your time. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking and visiting friends, resist over-scheduling of your time. What seems doable initially may turn into a frustrating obligatory marathon rather than a joyous time. Leave holes in your calendar for rest, quiet evenings at home or impromptu gatherings. You’ll be glad you did. Even just 15 minutes can give you the much-needed refresher you need to feel reenergized.
Try not to put pressure on yourself to create the perfect holiday for your family. Focus instead on the traditions that make holidays special for you. We often set the bar impossibly high for ourselves and then feel upset when our celebrations don’t live up to expectations. When preparing for the holidays, acknowledge that things may not go exactly as planned, and remind yourself that Its ok if it is not perfect.
Remember What The Holidays Are About
The holidays are supposed to be a time of celebration. Spend your holiday time relaxing and enjoying your friends and family. Indulge yourself a little but not too much. Relax, hydrate, rest, and have fun. Allow yourself to enjoy the holidays and you’ll look forward to them every year.
Keep in mind that the holidays are about spending time with loved ones, not gifts. Your friends and family will be happy to create memories with you, so don’t worry about finding an expensive gift or if they will like it; they will appreciate your efforts and affection regardless of what you give them.
The holidays bring joy and happiness as well as frustration and stress. This holiday season, you may have many things to take care of, but the most important one is yourself.