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Battling and overcoming stress during the holidays can be a challenge to anyone. There are a number of things that can lead to this type of stress:

  • Family gatherings
  • Coping with loss
  • Busy stores
  • Long lines
  • Projects
  • Gift buying
  • Conflicts
  • And more

You may also have high expectations that add to the stress of your holiday season. Long gone are the days in which the season was highly anticipated and there was a sense of magic in the air. As an adult, you may find the season to be more stressful than joyous.

  • Unfortunately, these days, you may even consider holiday stress as a necessary holiday tradition!

Here are some methods you can use to battle and overcome stress during the holidays:

1. Are you overcommitted? The holidays normally come with many social gatherings that most of us feel we must attend. The fact is that you don’t have to go to every event you’re invited to.

  • Saying “no thank you” to some of the invitations will free up more time for yourself!

It’s important to remember and enjoy the spirit of the holidays. If it takes saying “no” to preserve some of your sanity, go for it! Others will be more understanding than you give them credit for.

  • Don’t become so burdened that you secretly wish for the season to pass quickly. Take time to be by yourself. Whether you take a yoga class or a bubble bath, allow yourself to do something enjoyable without worrying about the holiday stress.

2. Carrying on traditions. Growing up, we may have seen our mothers cook a full course Christmas dinner. Perhaps it was routine to host a lavish holiday party. Maybe your family baked hundreds of Christmas cookies to give to friends and relatives.

  • Tradition is good but don’t allow yourself to become so wrapped up in tradition that it consumes you.

If you find that the routine you normally follow for the pure and simple sake of tradition is weighing on you and resulting in more stress than you can deal with, break away from it! You will be happier when you’re free from this stress.

  • Rather than living up to the expectations of years past, start your own, easy-going traditions. Instead of throwing a lavish party, have fewer friends over for tea and cookies. Allow other family members to bring side dishes to the holiday meal rather than cooking it all yourself.

3.      Finding the perfect gift. There’s so much pressure to purchase the perfect gift for each person that it takes all the fun out of shopping. Remember, people are generally appreciative for whatever gift they receive. They don’t expect you to go to every corner of the Earth to find them a spectacular gift.

  • Save time and money by skipping the wrapping! Creativity is the main focus. You can even give gifts that can be used throughout the year. For example, you may give a coupon in a card for a free night of babysitting, one day of yard work, or other special things.
  • Shopping online has made searching for gifts much easier. It might also be more cost effective to buy online because many stores offer special sales or free shipping near the holidays.

As you can see, there are several effective ways to battle and overcome stress during the holidays. The key is to determine what’s causing your stress so you can eliminate it. In the end, you’ll see that most of the stress you experience is a result of the expectations you pose on yourself.

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