Avoid Holiday Stress
Holiday stress is nothing new. For many people the holidays bring joy and excitement. For some, however, the holidays mean stress and anxiety and even depression. Do you get depressed, anxious or exhausted during the holidays? Here are six tips to help you get through the holidays in one piece.
1. Self-analyze your triggers. Think back over the past couple of years when you have had holiday stress. Remember the things which triggered your negative feelings the most. Maybe it was an interaction with a family member, maybe you dwelled on a lost loved one, or were obsessed about finding the perfect gift or creating the perfect atmosphere. Whatever it was, write it down and recognize it as a trigger. Then analyze the trigger and determine why it bothered you. For an example, if you got upset when you received a gift from a particular person, ask yourself, why did you get upset about it and how can you eliminate it, or at least mitigate it this year.
2. Realize you are not alone. Just because everyone seems to be full of joy and energy when you look at them, does not mean they actually are. You’d be surprised at how many are having the same feelings you are having, but just putting up a front.
3. Budget your gift giving. If money is tight, sitting down and coming up with a plan will take a lot of pressure off. Years ago, banks used to start a “Christmas savings account” by offering a separate account with a payment schedule starting right after the holidays and reaching maturity just before the next holidays. Its not prevalent anymore, but it was not a bad idea. You should even consider a budget if money is no object. Giving an expensive gift to someone unable to reciprocate can cause them to have negative feelings because of their inability to give in kind.
4. Understand the true purpose of gift giving. Rethink your giving if you are giving a gift only because the other person gives you a gift. Giving a gift should never be about obligation. If you would enjoy giving a gift to someone who would never give a gift in return, then by all means give a gift that will make you happy. If you are only giving it because you feel obligated, talk to them and let them know that you do not want to exchange gifts any longer. Now if they feel the same great, but if not, they will either get over it, or prove to you that your decision was a wise one.
5. Volunteer. Consider volunteering. During the holidays most charitable organizations can always use extra help, whether it is serving on a food line, wrapping gifts for needy children, or delivering meals to elderly shut-ins. Doing something to help those less fortunate feel better is a huge high.
6. Make time for yourself. We often put unnecessary pressure on ourselves by waiting til the last minute or just trying to fit everybody into an already over-burdened schedule. Our bodies and minds need time to recover from the energy they expend. Meditation is a great way to lower stress. If you cannot meditate on your own see someone who can help you. As a certified hypnotist, my specialty is helping clients overcome stress and anxiety. Stress is cumulative and builds up over time. If you are already highly stressed or anxious, don’t let the holiday season push you over your limits.
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