With the holidays fast approaching, holiday stress is common. This time of year can bring mixed emotions for many people. On one hand, the idea of seeing relatives, spending time with family, and getting a break from work can be very exciting. However, on the other hand, the holidays can create stress, depression, and frustration. This small guide will hopefully help you make it through this time of year unscathed.
Understanding and Handling the Stress
Are you stressed about being stressed? Although this may sound silly, it is actually quite common. Because the holidays are held up as a time to be happy, many people feel guilty about this when they are not. They actually can get stressed about the stress that they are experiencing. If you are one of these people, I recommend that you accept the stress, rather than run from it. If you accept that you are stressed, you can at least do something about it. If you deny it, then you aren’t going to be able to do anything about it.
To overcome such stress, keep the following on your mind at all times: Breathe, Laugh, Accept, Recognize the Past, Enjoy the present.
When we are anxious, we forget to breathe. Our breaths get faster and shallower, which perpetuates our anxious. What’s worse, is that we don’t even recognize that this is happening. Remembering to breathe longer and slower will help to slow yourself down in stressful times.
Laughing is great medicine. If you aren’t sure what to laugh at, find something. Find a relative to talk to who is amusing. Watch something funny on television. Whatever you find, laughing will help you curb your stress.
Families come with baggage. This can create an issue in that these issues almost always surface during the holidays. Know the baggage that you are dealing with. Identify what you can change and control, and focus on that. Don’t get caught up in focusing on a past that you can’t change. Instead, notice what you can enjoy in the present. Focus on your favorite aunt or the excitement of the children. Enjoy the smell of the home-cooked meal. Anything that you can focus on that is present, and that is enjoyable.
The holiday get-togethers can be full of joy, but they can be full of stress as well. Although it may be impossible to create a completely stress-free holiday, you can manage them and even enjoy them if you don’t focus on them as an all-or-nothing ordeal. It isn’t all bad or good, but if you can be present for the good, you’ll be able to handle holiday stress with more ease than you previously thought possible.