Like the song says, the holidays are supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year.” But, people with anxiety may disagree with that. The preparation and company the holiday provides can bring worries instead of joy. You could be feeling overwhelmed by looking at your long shopping list or seeing judgmental relatives. These intense worries can make you feel like you are on a never-ending rollercoaster or find it hard to sleep.
It is completely normal to have these type of stresses during the holidays. You want to join in on the fun, but it is hard to ignore your finances and other preparations for a happy holiday. Your family and friends know there is only so much you can handle. For all you know, they could be dealing with their own stresses around the holidays as well.
Here are a number of ways you can bust stress during the holidays.
Prioritize Your Care
It could be a habit for you to put others first when it comes to holiday planning. You try to make sure that your family has enough food for the holidays, shopping for presents, and putting in enough hours at work to take off for the holidays. However, you cannot take care of your loved ones if you do not take care of yourself.
While there is a lot to do for the holidays, take 15 minutes of your time for fun activities like meeting your friends for a meal or watching an episode of your favorite show. You can also practice self-care practices like exercising, breathing in the outside fresh air, or taking a bath. Taking care of yourself will provide you with the energy you need to care for your loved ones.
Prepare in Advance
You want to be able to plan ahead for holiday shopping, but there seems to be all of these obstacles. Maybe the mall is too packed, you have long hours at the office, or you have a whole house to clean. As overwhelming as these tasks may be, you will feel much better with a little organization. With all of these thoughts in your head, it helps to put them down on paper as a stress release.
If you have an idea how long it will take you to cook, shop, and clean, make a list. Prioritize them by order of importance and work on less time-consuming tasks first. With each task you cross off your list, you can head into the holidays with ease.
Take What You Can Handle
While you want to feel like you are invincible, you need to remind yourself that you are only human. If you try to take on more tasks than you can handle, you will wear yourself out. It is okay to say “no” if you are not in a position to give someone a helping hand.
For example, if your friend is holding a holiday party but would like you to cook a side dish, tell your friend “no” if it interferes with your own holiday cooking for your family. You will feel glad knowing you took a stand and are setting limits for yourself.
The holidays can bring a lot of stress if you feel like there are a list of tasks you need to accomplish with little time to do it. Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. A friend, neighbor, relative, or co-worker can find ways to make your work load easier as long as you are honest about what you could use help with. With organization and being honest about what you can handle, you will have a happy and healthy holiday.