Holiday Stress

wonderful time.jpg

Or is it?

Holiday season can absolutely be adding extra stressors into your life, so let’s take a look at a few ways to make it more enjoyable.

Avoid the “hostess neurosis” of needing every single detail perfect.  It’s important to remember that, yes, some things do deserve extra attention, but other things just need to get done.  Choose what you value the most, and delegate or simplify the other tasks.

Create a playlist that will put you in the holiday spirit.  Music can be such a great source of therapy, and preparing this list ahead of any commotion can help you when the time is needed.  

Plan some down time.  Adding this into your busy schedule will give you a chance to sit back and re-energize for the next holiday event.  Allow yourself to sit and just be in the moment.  Or it can also give you a chance to catch up on some things you didn’t give yourself enough time to do already.  

Rethink your gift giving tactics.  Are they all actually necessary?  Some other options could be drawing names each year and focusing on just one person, or choosing an experience instead of a tangible gift.  What if you are fortunate enough to not actually need anything, and instead go as a family or group of friends to volunteer at a local charity?  What a memorable gift.

Know your boundaries.  Some family members can absolutely put our guards up more than others, so prior to any of these functions just remind yourself of what value you are willing to place on others’ opinions and behaviors.  

Limit your alcohol intake.  This may seem like a great time to indulge, but it might mean the opposite.  Alcohol can absolutely stir up any event, and this might be one of the times that the consequences far outweigh the fun.  Again, be careful of your boundaries and how alcohol impacts your inhibitions.

Re-evaluate traditions.  Are any of them something that nobody actually likes doing but you feel mandated to it?  You might be surprised if you ask your family members what makes the holiday great for them, and they could even have ideas for new traditions to try. Be open to creating your own.

No matter how you choose to celebrate the holidays, or don’t, there is no “right way.”  Keep in perspective what exactly it is you are celebrating, and give yourself a break if not everything goes storybook smoothly.  There is always next year!

If you are in need of extra support during this time, Fox Valley Counseling Center is here to help.