How To Reduce Stress During The Holidays by Michele Harvey
There are any number of things which can stress us out during the holidays, from money worries, to relationship issues, to time constraints. Seasonal social gatherings, which are supposed to be enjoyable, can turn out to be a minefield for sufferers of stress, particularly when these come in the form of an office party or family gathering which many people look forward to with dread rather than delight. Read on and you will learn how to reduce stress ahead of the holidays. This way, you can sail serenely into the holidays armed with specific stress management tactics that you know will work.
The key is to make a plan. Deliberately determine how you choose to spend both your time and your money this year instead of merely repeating what you have done in the past. Recognize that you have undergone tremendous personal growth during the past year, and your priorities and perspective may have changed considerably. Therefore, you want to focus on those areas that you deem to be vital to your own fulfillment and will bring the most joy to your loved ones. Once you gain this clarity about your own priorities it will be easy to eliminate a number of things from your typical list of preparations.
When it comes to stress caused by money worries, the best thing to do is set a Christmas budget and stick to it. Once you have your budget in place, allocate funds within it for separate Christmas necessities such as food and presents. All too often we are tempted to overspend when we hit the shops. Going armed with a detailed list and sticking to it is an excellent way to avoid this temptation, and the confusion created by the multitude of options and deals offered in stores.
Sticking within budget on food will also help reduce stress in the weeks ahead when the post-holiday bills start coming in. Spending wisely before the holidays ensures you won’t have to deal with the anxiety of paying bills you cannot afford. Similarly, when it comes to present buying, set a limit for each gift or go the homemade route. There is nothing more delightful than receiving a thoughtful gift, made with love and care. In this difficult economic period, many of us have learned to appreciate far more the value of someone’s time and effort. Reducing your financial stress over the holidays will help you stay calm and centered.
Having reduced your monetary stress at Christmas, you will be in a better position to tackle any potential relational stress over the holiday season. To do so effectively, it is important that you set boundaries and reduce your expectations. Do not allow old hurts or issues to arise, and refuse to be drawn into arguments old or new. Simply let aggravating or provocative behavior pass you by, rather than letting it upset or stress you. Above all, do not expect anyone to behave perfectly – not even you! It is unrealistic to especially during the holidays when families spend far more time together and the pace of life is more hectic than usual.
Follow these tips on how to reduce stress at holiday time and you find yourself able to enjoy the festive season with a far more relaxed attitude. This, in turn, will keep stress symptoms in check, and stop you from falling victim to a stress spiral where your stressed reactions give rise to yet more symptoms and so on. Keep your sense of humor intact and your attitude flexible, and you will not go wrong. Remember that it is up to you to show others how to treat you. Respect yourself and your own limits over the holidays, and you will find that you are more refreshed going into the New Year.
For ways to improve your personal growth in 2016, you will benefit from my new book, From Confusion to Clarity-Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less, which is a great addition to your reading list for the New Year.