|Posted on October 7, 2018 at 7:20 PM|
Stress can be caused by good and bad experiences and for some the holidays can add extra stress.
There are many possible reasons for holiday stress and solutions to manage stress over the holidays.
1) Being alone for the holidays
There may be times in your life when a holiday may come and your schedule or health may not allow you to travel to spend the festivities with your family. This has happened to me and I learned to find ways to manage my holiday time. At times, I enjoy being alone, even eating alone. If it has been an extremely stressful time at work and in life, then having some downtime at home may be just what the doctor ordered. But at times like this, there are ways to get out of your home, like being adopted by friends or going out to a restaurant and sit at the bar to socialize with other singles for the evening. Another option is to invite a few friends over, make it a potluck and a games night. Take the opportunity to try something new, create new holiday traditions and shake things up!
2) Preparing for a holiday gathering
From creating an invite list, to preparing a menu, shopping list, going grocery shopping and then cleaning, preparing, cooking and pulling it all off can be quite an endeavor and honestly stressful. As much fun as it can be to plan and prepare for a gathering of family and friends, it can cause great stress mentally and on your time. Prepare ahead of time, purchase and freeze some of the foods early, delegate others to pick up last minute items and even help you chop vegetables or decorate, set tables and meet people as they arrive. Take the opportunity to share washing the dishes at the end, make it a social event, after all everyone ends up in the kitchen anyways, so put them to work. Many hands make easy work, instead of one or two people doing all the work and feeling tired due to stress after everyone goes home
3) The anxiety of going out to socialize
Okay, so you are an introvert and the idea of going out for a holiday meal sounds great, but wait there will be people and small talk and well that seems so overwhelming. How can you plan for this? Rest up during the day. Plan for a day of alone time, enjoying peace and quiet and refilling yourself so that you can handle being in a social event. Try relaxation techniques, mindfulness, breathing, visualization and guided imagery to mentally and physically prepare for the outing. Show up just before dinner, eat, socialize a little, and then say your goodbyes and head home a little early if needed. It is a process to work up to longer events. Congratulate yourself on attending and preparing ahead of time. Utilizing these tools may help to lengthen your time that you can spend in these social settings.
4) Travel in bad weather
Okay holidays are coming and you are excited to see your family and friends. Just one thing, you need to travel and the weather may be unpredictable. Pick your mode of travel that is suitable to your needs, budget, and availability and fit your schedule. Then plan ahead and pack for carry on or checked baggage. If you are flying ensure you are packed appropriately and arrive at the airport early enough to make it through the crowds, security and to your gate with room to breathe. If you are driving, prepare your vehicle with proper tires, check your vehicle fluids and also pack according to travel conditions. Leave during daylight with enough time to spare just in case you hit any issues along the way. If driving or flying is not your mode of transport, make sure to check bus or train schedules and if possible purchase your ticket prior to your trip to ensure you are ready to board and travel to your chosen destination. Dress for the weather, in layers and practice relaxation and breathing along the way to reduce stress.
5) Financial concern
Some holidays and family traditions may historically be attached to buying and exchanging gifts. This can be tough for some people and may deter from spending time with family or certain friends. A few suggestions set up a set dollar amount to spend that is acceptable to all exchanging gifts. As well, plan ahead throughout the year and purchase when items are on sale. Or make gifts - home-made gifts take much thought and effort, but often do not cost a lot. And to be honest, some of the best, most thoughtful gifts out there are those made from the heart. Put thought into gifts and prepare ahead. If possible utilize a special skill that you have - loved ones will love and appreciate you sharing your skills with them in an amazing home-made gift.
I hope that some or all of these tips will help you to cope over the holidays. Please leave a comment, share your thoughts and ideas and successes to reducing holiday stress.
Stress Less For Health