Holiday Stress is Real

Are you starting to feel that familiar stress and anxiety the holidays bring? Feeling the pressure that comes with more family time and extra expenses? Those feelings are perfectly normal. December gives a lot of Canadians anxiety. So how do you cope with it all? We have six things to keep in mind this holiday season that might just help.

Make Self-Care a Priority

Take time for yourself. Whether you run a hot bath and read a book or take a walk on the weekend to clear your head, make sure you set aside time each week for your own mental wellbeing. Things will still get done. Making your sanity a priority will just mean those things get done well.

Learn to Say No

If we committed to everything we were asked to attend, we would have no time for anything else. You can’t go to every Christmas party. You can’t buy gifts for everyone at work. Saying no to things will give you more time for self-care and will ultimately help you stick to a budget. Your friends, coworkers and family will understand.

Be Careful Not to Over-Indulge

Just because the holidays are here doesn’t mean you need to abandon all self-control. In fact, overeating and indulging in drinks can leave you feeling guilty and down. Try having a healthy treat before a party so you don’t go overboard at the dessert table. Making sure you get enough rest is also important. Studies show we are more prone to over-indulge on sweets when we are overtired.

Of course you should treat yourself. It is the Christmas season after all. But a treat is only special when you enjoy it occasionally. Sticking to healthy habits will help you keep a level head when things get hectic.

Take Control

The last thing you want is for the holidays to fill you with dread every year. Before things get crazy, remind yourself that this time is meant for you and your loved ones. Gifts, parties, demands and responsibilities come second.

Learn to recognize what your triggers are and come up with tricks to combat them. And if spending time with certain people or doing something causes you too much stress, don’t force yourself to do it. The holidays are about filling your time with things you enjoy. If the same situation brings you stress, this might be the year you decide to say no and instead participate in an activity that brings you joy.

Accept the Things You Cannot Change

When it comes to dealing with your family members, try to manage your expectations. Chances are your family has always been a certain way. Accepting them as they are will release you from any frustration or anger you might feel towards them.

Everyone gets stressed over the holidays. Be as understanding as you can with others. Remind yourself they might be struggling with the season just as much as you are. Finally, things are going to go wrong. The turkey might overcook; some gifts might not make it under the tree on time. Not everything will be perfect, but with a positive attitude, you can still have a wonderful time.

Refuse to Isolate

For some, the holidays can be a lonely time. Maybe it reminds you of lost loved one or family members that are no longer here. Maybe you live in a new city or you just don’t have anyone to spend the holidays with this year. There are people just like you feeling the same way.

Reach out. Find a community program or social event near you. Volunteer or spend time doing something for others. Attend a morning service or take in an event you have always meant to try. There are people just like you looking to make new friendships or enjoy the company of another. You just have to seek them out.


Read more: 17 Free or Low Cost Gifts for a Santa on a Budget.