Even though the holiday season is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, it’s not uncommon for people to experience higher levels of stress than usual. Between shopping for gifts and stretching your budget, spending extra time with relatives, traveling, and trying to manage all of your usual work responsibilities at the same time, it can feel like you never have a moment to yourself.
If you tend to experience higher levels of anxiety around the holidays, you’re not alone. Thankfully, you don’t have to bear the burden. Here are a few steps you can take to lessen your holiday anxiety and enjoy the festivities.
1. Clear Your Schedule
One major culprit behind holiday anxiety? Packing your schedule to the gills and trying to do it all! If you’re feeling super stressed, take a look at your calendar. Is there any way you can carve out a little more “me time” by turning down invites to events that you don’t really need to go to?
You would be amazed how freeing up some time in your schedule can lessen your anxiety. Staying in and relaxing in a bubble bath instead of going to a party could be just what you need.
2. Rein in Your Budget
Another cause of holiday stress? Excessive spending. During the holiday season, we’re constantly receiving the message that the more you spend, the happier you’ll be and that being a big spender is the only way to show your family and friends that you love them.
Well, tune out the commercials and advertisements, because taking control of your budget and reining in your holiday spending can seriously reduce your stress levels. Go over your budget carefully and decide what you can realistically spend, and then stick to that number.
3. Lean on Family and Friends
If you’re feeling the holiday stress, don’t worry – some of your loved ones are probably feeling the same way, and you all could use someone to lean on. Need to vent? Call up a close, trusted friend and let them know how you’re feeling. Chances are, they’ll have a few stories of their own to share, and the two of you can commiserate together.
Sometimes, we feel guilty for experiencing holiday stress – we know that we “should” be happy about the holidays, but our responsibilities are wearing us down. Knowing that other people feel the same way can help ease that guilt.
4. Daily Relaxation Techniques
During the holiday season, it can feel like time is just slipping away from you – you’re always running around or doing extra errands, and it gets dark out so early that you genuinely feel like your days are a bit shorter! But dedicating some time each day to a relaxing hobby is worth the effort. Turning to meditation, yoga, or journaling in the mornings or evenings can make a world of difference.
5. Treat Yourself
There is really no better time to treat yourself than the holiday season. Instead of going along with everyone else’s plans, think about what you would really like to do before the season is over.
Maybe you’re not a huge fan of holiday movie marathons, but you’d love to go ice skating. Or maybe you’re a bit more introverted and feel anxious about holiday parties, but you can think of nothing cozier than staying in and baking cookies with friends. Focus on what you love, and the holiday season will be a breeze.
Is your anxiety running high because of holiday stress? If anxiety is getting in the way of your holiday cheer, read more about Individual Counseling for more information. Also, please contact me soon to discuss scheduling a session.