Do you find yourself feeling stressed by the chaos and busy-ness that typically comes with the month of December? You’re not alone. Working Americans are stressed out to begin with working long hours, fighting traffic, caring for aging parents or young children and paying the bills. Then add holidays on top of all that!
Juggling work and added family responsibilities with planning for holiday gatherings, shopping for gifts, baking, decorating and additional social events. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association of almost 800 adults reported that their holidays stress was due to lack of money, lack of time, hype and commercialism. Stress can decrease your enjoyment of the holiday and leave you feeling tired and depressed.
So what to do to reduce your stress at holiday time?
• Set priorities before the whirlwind begins.
• Let go… of expectations, perfection, guilt, and traditions that no longer have meaning.
• Decide ahead of time how many social events you’ll attend.
• Simplify… cut your Christmas card list in half… or don’t send any this year! Cut back on the number of Christmas gifts.
• Make a list
-Talk with your family about what is truly important and meaningful
-Set some goals
• Check it twice
-Be realistic about what you can accomplish
-Make a task list, prioritize
-Tackle high priority first
• Get help from family members
• Develop a holiday calendar – list activities, events, jobs, goals
• Use convenience foods instead of doing all the cooking yourself.
• If still time crunched, you may have to pay someone to do it for you
Remember to take care of yourself with healthy diet, exercise and enough sleep. Meditation and relaxation techniques have shown to reduce the effects of stress. This year, connect more fully with your holiday experiences and find some peace this holiday season.