Many people are stressed during the holidays. Many women feel more stress and responsibility during this time because there is so much to do and the thought of trying to create a positive, cherished memory for the kids and family can be so overwhelming
A study done by the American Psychology Association shows some of the leading stresses many of us feel during this busy time.
Not surprisingly, the number one reason people Often or Sometimes feel is a Lack of Time. 30% of people often feel there is a lack of time and 67% feel this same stress sometimes during the holidays.
A lack of money plays a large part in holiday stress, as does the commercialism or hype. How many of us saw the Christmas decorations and such come out in our retail shops BEFORE Halloween even got here this year? The constant stream of BUY, BUY, BUY can wreak havoc on our minds, bodies and pocket books.
So what can we do differently this year?
Identity YOUR stressors. Know what normally stresses you out each year. We can’t change anything until we know what we are working with. Grab a piece of paper and write down your Top 5 holiday stressors. Give yourself 5 minutes. Go!
Got it? Okay!
Do ANY of these stressors SERVE us? Does worrying about any of these things make it better? What can you change? If you change HOW you look at something, will it change how you feel about it? For instance, if you are stressed about money, do you HAVE to overspend this year? What can you do to easy your worry and your credit card strain?
What can you DO instead? Using the above example, what if you made a holiday budget and stuck to that budget this year? Are you buying gifts for family members you never see? Are you buying gifts for people when it is not really necessary? Is the rest of your family struggling financially? Can you draw names between your family members and spend just $100 per person instead of giving gifts to everyone? What can you do to make this holiday filled with love instead of worry?
How does YOUR stress serve your FAMILY and FRIENDS? When you are stressed out, is the family receiving the best version of you? Are you yelling at the kids because you are on such a tight schedule that no one is enjoying themselves? Do your hosts enjoy having that version of you as a guest? If these answers are not the ones you want, what can you do to change it and make this year a more enjoyable and smooth one?
Tips for Lowering Your Holiday Stress:
- Have a plan! Don’t overextend yourself or your family. Kids get tired, so do parents. Jumping from house to house to accommodate everyone will only make you tired, stressed and the kids will follow suite. Where is best for you to spend your time this year?
- Create a Budget – If money is an issue, stick to your budget and feel good about it! The holidays are about being with one another and not gifts. If you are creative and know it will be immensely appreciated, make your gifts this year! I did that one year and to this day, my family members still remember and have the handmade gifts I made more than five years ago. Thoughtfulness and creativity are always remembers by those that love us most!
- Stay Grounded – Meditate or build in relaxation time for yourself daily. Try a meditation app for those moments when things feel chaotic. A great one is Calm and it’s FREE! This app does guided and unguided meditation from 2 minutes and up. I have used the 2 minute meditation in the car many times! Have a way to bring yourself back to the ground, whether it’s prayer, meditation, breathing, yoga, or just going for a walk.
- Try 4-4-8 Breathing Technique – When things get to be too much, breathe! This technique is simple and can be done anywhere. Take a deep breath in for 4 counts, hold it for 4 counts, blow it out slowly for 8 counts. This is a great grounding exercise or something you can do when overcome with emotion. For those that may be feeling grief or missing our loved ones that have passed, this is a great exercise to do
- Remember the Reason for the Season! Spending time with our loved ones is what it is all about! Laugh, play a game, catch up or reminisce. None of those activities cost a dime and can be done just about anywhere!
To your health and the holidays!