Holiday Stress Management - Plan It Ahead

Holiday stress management is a luxury? You have a lot of responsibility in your daily life, but then the holidays come around and pack on even more.

You have a growing gift list, invitations for holiday parties pouring in, and all of those decorations to hang. Of course, you cannot forget lighting up the tree and possibly traveling back home to reconnect with family and old friends.

There is a lot of pleasure to be found, but there is also a lot of stress. Learning a few holiday stress management tips can help you get through it with as little tension as possible.

Adjust Your Thinking

Oftentimes, the stress you feel during the holiday season may be due to your own preconceptions or thought patterns surrounding the holidays.

Your mental preoccupations and thought processes may be making the holiday season more stressful than necessary.

For example, do you feel that your home has to be just perfect for a holiday gathering? Do you force yourself to put together a holiday party every year, even though your full time job leaves little time for preparation? Are you hard on yourself if you cannot afford a nice gift for everyone in your life?

If you answer yes to some of these questions, then you are probably placing too much stress on yourself while trying to live up to preconceived notions of what the holidays should be like.

Perhaps your mother threw a hue Christmas party every year, so you feel like you now have to do the same for your family and friends. Holiday stress management requires you to identify these negative thought processes and correct them.

You can provide some stress relief by simply not doing the things that create the stress.

  • What would happen if you did not have your own Christmas party this year?

  • What would happen if you skipped a couple of the parties you are invited to this year?

  • What would happen if you send simple holiday cards out, rather than elaborate presents?

In most cases, nothing would happen other than you feeling a lot more relaxed. You would actually enjoy the holidays more!

Give Yourself Time Out

You might give a child a time out if he were running around wild and acting up, so why not do the same for yourself?

When you start feeling like you are running around taking care of everyone else but yourself, simply give yourself a time out. Effective holiday stress management requires some down time, so you can build up the energy to take care of things that really are important.

You deserve a little bit of stress relief, and that often comes by simply relaxing. If that means the candy canes do not make it onto the tree the same night you put on the lights, do not stress over it.

If it means that you go home on a Friday night rather than hitting the mall to shop, that is fine as well. If you take the time to relax, you will have more energy and clearer thoughts for the more important things, such as stuffing the turkey.

Financial Integrity

Finances are a huge stressor during the holiday season, so holiday stress management must take that into account.

The best strategy is to be sit down and honestly assess what you can afford to spend on the holidays.

This includes how much you can afford to spend on gifts for your children, what you can afford to spend on others, and how much you can invest in that holiday party.

Be pro-Active

The best form of holiday stress management is that which occurs before the stress even sets in.

If you know from the start that you do not have the money for an elaborate holiday party, then you can relieve the stress by just planning a small, intimate party for close friends.

If you know that you cannot afford a lot of gifts for your children, then you can think ahead and have them list only the top three things they really want this year.

Holiday stress management always requires forethought. Do not let yourself get so run down that you are completely exhausted and useless. At that point, it is too late. The holiday season has become something you do not enjoy and appreciate.

Be honest with yourself on what you need to feel balanced and happy during the holiday season.

You deserve to enjoy the gifts, the sparkling lights, and the enjoyment of family and friends. Plan ahead and keep it modest to make this years holiday as stress free as possible.

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