24 May Managing the Holiday Stress
The final holiday season of the year is often a time of celebration, family gatherings, and hustle and bustle. While all of the joys of the season can leave one feeling as warm and toasty as chestnuts roasting by the fire, for many these holiday cheers also come with an extra bit of stress. In our efforts to bless our loved ones with thoughtful gifts and find time for family celebrations and attend every ugly sweater party for which an invite is received, it can often leave our energy levels (and bank accounts) feeling a bit empty. How can you avoid the holiday blues and find time to enjoy the simple moments this holiday? Here are a few ideas:
- Lower your expectations. It’s hard to compete with the cover of Martha Stewart’s holiday magazine (believe me, I’ve tried). If your focus is on the way you spend time with those who matter most, it’s likely no one will worry too much about whether you used actual tree trimmings to make the wreath hanging on the front door.
- Think small. Gifts don’t need to be expensive and flashy to communicate our love for others. In fact, most people’s treasured gifts are those that just have some thought and time put into them. Handmade treasures, photos of loved ones, or even just a nice meal can be a great way to slow down and enjoy the time you spend with those you love rather than at the mall.
- Be forgiving. Whether its getting cut off in the parking lot or battling with your sister over whose turn it is to host, inevitably someone somewhere is going to rub you the wrong way. With all the time, energy and money you’ve been saving this holiday, use a little of your excess to extend grace to those who may just need that particular gift most of all.
When you feel the real peace of the season by shifting your focus to the truly important things (family, friends, and, let’s face it, food), you might just find that the holidays leave your spirit feeling just as full as it was when the holiday season began six weeks ago.
Robyn Allard, MA LMFT, is a Marriage and Family Therapist. She currently works in private practice at Coastal Counseling. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Robyn, please call 1-888-470-4415.
This article and the information herein are for educational and informational purposes only. It is not meant as a substitute for professional psychological or therapeutic services. The self-help information provided by this blog are solely the opinion of the bloggers and should not be considered as a form of therapy, advice, direction, diagnosis, or treatment of any kind. Instead, the information is designed to be used in conjunction with ongoing treatment provided by a mental health professional. Use the information in this blog at your own risk. All of the information is provided “as-is,” with no warranties of any kind, express or implied.