The holiday season is here. For many it brings excitement and for others, distress. Maybe you feel a combination of the two. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about how to about how to manage holiday stress, check our top three tips:
- Plan ahead. Having a plan in place can alleviate some of the holiday stress. Consider your priorities and desires. Talk with your partner and your family members about expectations. What are your partner’s visions of the holiday experience? ? What are yours? Your family’s? How can you compromise if your wishes are conflicting? Know what is important to you, but also be willing to make adjustments and be flexible
- Say no. It’s so easy to get caught up in feeling overwhelmed this time of year. Oftentimes we feel pressured to say yes to taking on additional tasks, to attend all the gatherings, and to please everyone. Sometimes there is not enough time in the day! Give yourself permission to say no. Prioritize the events that are most important and be intentional about building in time to rest, recuperate and be present.
- Set realistic expectations. We often have high hopes for the holidays. When our expectations and reality don’t match we might feel uncomfortable, sad or anxious. It’s okay if it doesn’t look exactly as it did last year. Prep yourself for some change. Try to focus on the excitement of new traditions and rituals rather than focusing on trying to recreate the past.
If you struggle with holiday stress, you are not alone. Share your stress with someone you trust. Work out a plan and remember to take breaks. If you could use some help processing and working through holiday stress, please contact one of our counselors below:
Written by Taylor Walker, Ed.S.