Reducing stress and anxiety over the holidays is important as your life becomes busy.
The holidays can offer plenty of stress and anxiety — the gifts you haven’t wrapped, the pile of cookie exchange invites, the office parties. The biggest source of holiday stress is family — the family dinner, the obligations, and the burden of family tradition.
There’s this idea of perfection that holiday gatherings with family are joyful and stress-free, which is NOT the case. Expectations are always set too high! Let’s reset. You don’t have to skip the holidays completely.
Here are some helpful tips on beating holiday stress and anxiety.
First, ask yourself this: What is it about the holidays that gets you down? Cut through the vague sense of dread about family gatherings and identify specific problems that you can deal with directly. For many people, holiday stress is triggered by:
Unhappy memories. Going home for the holidays naturally makes people remember old times, some memories may be more bitter than sweet. Many childhood memories come back. You may find yourself dwelling on what was inadequate about your childhood and what was missing. If you associate the holidays with a bad time in your life — the loss of a loved one, a previous depression — this time of year will naturally bring those memories back.
Toxic relatives. Holidays can put you in the same room with relatives you avoid the rest of the year. You want to avoid them for fear of what they might say to you or in front of a special someone you’ve brought with you to the dinner. Speaking up and setting a boundary isn’t on your mind at all. But, other people are waiting for you to speak up for them because they can’t do it. You can. Why not give the best gift of all this year to your mother or partner? Why not give them the gift that keeps giving and make sure that the person who annoys everyone knows it’s stopping this year.
Relationship changes have occurred over the year. What is different this year? — a divorce, a death in the family, a son who’s making his first trip back home after starting college. A daughter who has married and can’t make it to your home this year. Any of these can unsettle a gathering and add stress.
Nothing new? For others, it’s the monotonous sameness of family holiday gatherings that depresses them — the same faces, the same jokes, holiday music, holiday movies and the same food on the same china plates.
Are your defenses down? Anxiety rises with more obligations, errands and reduced bank account. The cold and flu season has arrived and your immune system is under assault. You’re eating worse than usual, sleeping less, working more and drinking more. By the time the family gathering rolls around, you’re worn out, your coping skills may be set low and it’s all adding up…
Bring on some PEACE and EASE please!!!
This year IS going to be different. You’ve made up your mind. Do a little less and spend MORE time with the people that are important to you.
Keep it simple. Limit drinking. Make sure you’re active throughout the holidays. Ask for help in the kitchen, wrapping, tag-team with family. Secret Santa. Draw names. Limit gifts to children. Take the time to connect, scratch that… reconnect and talk more.
At the end of your day, this year, it’s your relationships that count. It’s about how touch others with time that’s important.
Do you need support through the holiday stress with more ease? Book your holiday GIFT call today. A 30-minute strategy call that’s going to be worth it!
With love and understanding,
“May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility.”
— Mary Anne Radmacher