Christmas Holiday Stress: 5 Ways to Reduce and Manage Holiday Stress

The holidays are upon us again, and those who enjoy them welcome them with open arms. Others however find that they’re stressful, what with having to spend money, plan parties, put up decorations, and conform to general holiday cheer.

It’s not unheard of for modern day Scrooges to whisper “Bah, Humbug!” under their breaths even as they go about pretending to enjoy the holiday season. They’re not to blame for their wet blanket attitude; prolonged stress and forced holiday cheer can make disbelievers of most people.

Even those who love and enjoy the holidays are subject to stress once they’re over; perhaps they’re suffering from withdrawal syndrome, or perhaps they’re not sure how to cope with the overwhelming experience that holidays are.

If you’re the kind who finds holiday time or post holiday time stressful and find coping with holiday stress difficult to deal with, follow these tips to minimize the tension and maximize your enjoyment:

  1. Don’t spend more than you can afford: Money is often the root cause of all our troubles; we either fret that we don’t have any to spend or we spend what we don’t have without a care in the world and drown deeper in debt, especially during the holidays. The key to minimizing post holiday stress is to reduce spending before and during the holidays, especially when you cannot afford it and ride out the season using your credit cards.
  2. Don’t eat too much: Another stressor is food – we forget that we eat to live and make holidays about living to eat. All that rich food adds to the lethargy and laziness that envelop us during holiday season and make you feel more bloated and heavy when it’s time to get back to your regular routine. Make your holidays more enjoyable by eating healthy food and small amounts of foods that are a part of every holiday gathering – this is the best way to eat your cake and have it too.
  3. Don’t take on more work than you can do: You may consider yourself the ultimate host, but if you end up obsessing over how to make each holiday better than the last, how to outdo yourself every year, you’re going to end up a basket case even before the holidays are done. It’s a time to have fun, let down your hair, and relax with those closest to you; so focus on what really matters, not the outward trappings that you think is important.
  4. Stay organized: Holidays are all about decorations and other preparations, and if you’re not organized and have to rummage in all your cupboards and storage areas to put together your tree and hang out your decorations, it is going to be a stressful experience. A place for everything and everything in its place works wonders in reducing stress and panic during holidays.
  5. Don’t force family to spend time together: Some families are close, others prefer to remain at a distance. If your family is of the latter kind, don’t force them to spend time together during the holidays – it can only lead to additional strife and tension. Instead, keep in touch throughout the year, focus on rebuilding your relationship, and then spend the next holiday together.

This guest post is contributed by Maryanne Osberg, who writes on the topic of RN to MSN Online Programs. She can be reached at mary.anne579(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

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