The Ultimate Holiday Stress Guide

This article originally written for and published for All The Buzz

Family is coming into town.  You have to plan your holiday parties with your friends.  Oh no! You still have to go Christmas shopping in addition to all your current errands and all the holiday parties.  Where did the time go?  The Christmas season can definitely be a stressful time of the year, but don’t fret! We’re here to bring you the ultimate holiday stress guide!

Accept how you’re feeling

If you’re feeling stressed, remember that a certain amount of anxiety is okay to feel. It’s normal to be a little anxious about getting things done. Even though it feels uncomfortable sometimes, it can’t hurt you. Plus, it usually doesn’t last that long. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself its okay to be stressed.

Stay Connected

It’s important to stay connected to friends and loved ones, especially if you’re feeling stressed. Having someone to talk to or vent to can help you to manage anxiety. If you’re feeling left out, try inviting friends to go out and see the Christmas lights, hear the carollers, or even just go see a movie.

Be Realistic

A lot of people worry over buying the right gifts, if they’re spending enough money on each person, and throwing the perfect holiday party. Remember, things WILL go wrong, and you probably won’t get everything you want. It’s okay that things won’t be perfect – not everything is in your control. Try to stay flexible and make the most out of the situation.

Don’t spread yourself too thin

It’s easy to spread ourselves thin, especially during Christmas time. When we spread ourselves too thin, we tend to get tired, overwhelmed, and burnt-out, and this can dampen that holiday spirit. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to certain things or delegate tasks. Ask a family member or friend to help you out where they can.

Create a budget

Most people’s budgets are tight this time of year. Of course we want to get everyone the perfect gift, but that’s not always possible. Take some time to go through your finances and set a limit on how much you can spend on each person. If you don’t have money to spend, try making homemade gifts like cookie making kits or make some scented candles. Remember, it’s about the presence, not the presents!

Plan ahead

Try making a schedule of all the things you need to do before Christmas, and see how you can spread those errands out over the next few weeks. Don’t leave yourself stuck for time doing last minute errands on Christmas Eve. Also, if you’re hosting Christmas, try to create your Christmas menu and grocery shopping list in advance. This way when it comes time to baking, you know you have everything you need!

Set time aside for yourself

At Christmas, we often spend all our time energy towards other people, so be sure to set some time aside for yourself as well. Plus, you’re less able to help others when you do become stressed. Be sure to eat healthy, exercise, get some sleep, and do things that you find enjoyable. You can even buy a Christmas gift or treat for yourself!

We hope these tips help you to make the most of the festive season!  And most of all remember to try and enjoy it all!

Nicole Paulie is a Counselling Psychologist, and co-author of “How to be Happy and Healthy – The seven natural elements of mental health.” She provides therapy in the Dublin city area. Contact us to learn more or to book an appointment.

The Ultimate Holiday Stress Guide
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