The idea of the holidays usually brings excitement and joy for most people. The pumpkin spice lattes, the festive decor and the holiday music can spark all kinds of emotions. Sadly, those emotions are not always positive ones. For some, the thought of the holidays brings added stress. Let’s talk about three reasons you may feel stressed during the holidays.
Three common reasons people feel stressed during the holidays are finances, time and family. These things in isolation, or in any combination, can steal the joy the holidays are known for bringing. A time that’s supposed to be happy can be quite the opposite when there are issues with any of these three things.
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Why are the holidays so stressful?
There is no simple answer to why the holidays cause so much stress. There are so many factors that contribute to holiday stress. From social gatherings to family dinners, to gifts, there is an overall increase in expectations and demands. It’s pretty easy to get stressed out with so much added chaos during the holiday season.
Webmd lists fatigue, unrealistic expectations and over-commercialization as three of the several factors that contribute to holiday chaos.
Three additional factors that cause holiday stress are money, time and family.
How does money play a role in holiday stress?
Have you ever tried to set a budget for Thanksgiving meals, holiday gatherings and Christmas gifts? It’s hard. It seems like just when you think you have everything, something else comes up. When you’re strapped for cash, it can be especially difficult to stretch your budget to fit everything in.
The costs of decorations, gifts, meals, and extra holiday festivities can make a dent in your budget. If you’re not careful, things can easily spin out of control.
How can you avoid financial stress during the holidays?
- Make a plan and stick to it.
- Resist the temptation to give beyond your means.
- Pay with cash.
Is time a stressor during the holiday season?
There are only so many hours in the day. And no matter how hard we try, we simply can’t do it all. That doesn’t keep us from trying, though, especially during the holidays. Lots of extra commitments and requests come with the holidays. And for some reason, we try our hardest to be a superhero and make it all happen. But, overcommitting can quickly lead to overwhelm and turn your holiday cheer into a holiday hot mess!
The extra shopping, holiday parties, family dinners, festive programs, parades and other shenanigans will have every block of your planner packed, but is that really what you want? Spreading yourself too thin during the holiday season is likely to leave you feeling super stressed and less likely to truly enjoy your holidays. Overscheduling yourself can drain your energy and rob you of your holiday spirit.
How can you avoid falling into the time trap this holiday season?
- Don’t overcommit to too many activities.
- Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed as you prepare for family gatherings.
- Get plenty of rest.
Can negative family members affect your holidays?
Family can be one of the main sources of excitement during the holidays. However, family can also steal your joy. Family dysfunction doesn’t take a break during the holiday season. Honestly, the holidays may even make the dysfunction even more visible.
Sometimes, the very people you want to spend time with are the people who are likely to cause the most problems. Despite your hope that issues and behaviors will keep themselves at bay during family celebrations, you end up disappointed, frustrated, angry and possibly even heartbroken.
How can you deal with toxic family members during the holidays?
- Limit your time with negative family members.
- Set boundaries and stick to them.
- Remember that it’s okay to say no.
What are some tips to prevent holiday stress?
Now that you know the leading causes of holiday stress, I want to share a few tips to keep you from getting too overwhelmed:
- Practice self care.
- Find time to exercise.
- Be realistic about what you can afford and what you can do.
- Don’t abandon your healthy habits.
- Create relaxing surroundings.
- Stay hydrated.
- Accept people for who they are and don’t try to change them.
- Speak to a professional if you feel too sad or anxious.