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Holiday stress and anxiety

Guide to Managing Holiday Stress and Anxiety

By: Kristina Murr

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Are you overwhelmed by holiday stress and anxiety? The holiday season is often portrayed as a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. However, for many individuals, it can also bring about heightened levels of stress and anxiety. In this guide, we will explore the unintentional actions that can contribute to holiday anxiety, identify common causes, and provide practical tips to prevent and reduce stress during this festive period.


Unintentional Actions that Increase Holiday Anxiety


Overcommitting: Planning or scheduling too many activities, events, or social gatherings during the holiday season can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

Triggering Relationships: Making plans with people, including family members, who trigger negative emotions or anxiety can contribute to heightened stress levels during the holidays.

Overspending: Financial strain from overspending on gifts, decorations, and other holiday-related expenses can lead to anxiety and worry.



Common Causes of Holiday Stress and Anxiety


Increased Family Time: Spending more time with family members, even those we may have strained relationships with, can evoke stress and anxiety.

Expectations and Pressure: The societal and personal expectations associated with the holiday season, such as creating the perfect celebration, can lead to stress and anxiety.



Tips to Prevent Holiday Stress and Anxiety


Set Realistic Expectations: Establish achievable goals for the holiday season, considering time, energy, and resources.

Prioritize Self-Care: Schedule time for self-care activities, such as relaxation, exercise, and adequate sleep, to maintain mental and emotional well-being.

Learn to Say No: Practice setting boundaries and politely declining invitations or commitments that may contribute to overwhelm.


Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress and Anxiety


Establish Boundaries: Clearly communicate and enforce personal boundaries to protect your well-being during the holiday season.

Assertiveness: Practice assertive communication to express your needs and feelings, reducing potential sources of conflict.

Financial Planning: If overspending has caused stress, create a budget and financial plan to manage expenses effectively.


How to Create Calm and Peaceful Holidays


Simplify Traditions: Focus on simple and meaningful traditions that bring joy without excessive stress or financial strain.

Mindfulness: Stay present in the moment, savoring positive experiences rather than worrying about the future or past.

Moderation: Avoid overcommitting to events and activities, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday season.


Additional Thoughts


Communication: Open communication with loved ones about expectations and potential stressors is necessary.

Seek Professional Help: If holiday anxiety becomes overwhelming, consider seeking support from mental health professionals to navigate and manage stressors effectively, or check out more tips here.


The holiday season should be a time of joy and connection. By being mindful of potential triggers, setting realistic expectations, and prioritizing self-care, you can navigate the festive period with greater ease and create a more peaceful holiday experience for yourself and those around you.

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