Mistletoe Madness - How To Deal With Stress Around The Holiday Season


Mistletoe Madness - How To Deal With Stress Around The Holiday Season

The holidays are an exciting and magical time. They also can bring a lot of additional stress into our lives.

Family get-togethers, budgeting money for gifts, finding time to cook… there’s a lot to think about at this time of the year and some of us may experience a heightened sense of stress and anxiety.  The holidays can also trigger sadness when we are away from loved ones, or when reflecting on memories of people we have lost.  Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, sad, anxious, or irritable, we suggest trying some simple, helpful strategies to reduce stress and help you kick back and enjoy the holiday season.

Here are five tips to stress less and be merrier.

Be thankful

Organizing schedules, cooking, decorating, money management… Although this time of the year can definitely be overwhelming, keep in mind that many people struggle during the holiday season. Take time to reflect on the year that has nearly passed and set goals for the year to come.

Plan ahead

Worried that you won’t be able to spend quality time with family and friends? Is the thought of buying presents for everyone keeping you up at night? This year be prepared and start saving early, or have a set plan for who you’ll spend time with. The holidays are very overwhelming and being a little organized definitely helps to cope by knowing what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. Planning ahead will also put you in the right mindset for what to expect, which means less stress and less of a chance that something unexpected popping up.

Ask for help when you need it

You may have had your dream holiday party in mind for months now, but when it comes to actually executing it, you may find yourself in over your head.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help! This might mean asking a friend to come over a day early to help you decorate, or asking your sister to bring dessert (or buying one at that trendy bakery down the block).  We all want that dream holiday dinner, but memories are made by including time to relax and connect with those closest to us.

Budget accordingly

Take a look at your financial situation and decide early how much you’re willing to spend this season on gifts. As they say, it’s the thought that counts.  Set a realistic budget for how much you will spend on presents and try to limit using your credit card during this time of the year, as it is easy to go into credit card debt thinking you’ll just pay it off later.

Learn to say no

A big part of holiday stress is stretching yourself too thin. Whether it’s participating in the office Secret Santa when you can’t afford it or committing to every dinner you’re invited to, you don’t need to say yes to everything, nor does everyone expect you to.  Skip the holiday party with that friend of a friend and instead take a night to yourself to relax and decompress from the madness that is known as the holiday season.

The most important thing to remember during this time of the year is that it’s supposed to be enjoyable; you aren’t supposed to dread it. There’s a reason they call it “the most wonderful time of the year”.

Some stress over the holidays is certainly common, but if you feel that you are struggling to manage your emotions., please don’t hesitate to reach out. One of our psychologists would be happy to work with you on developing distress management skills to better cope with stress all year long.

Enjoy your holidays!

The Waterloo Psychology Group Team