’Tis the season to be …. stressed? The holiday season has fallen upon us and with it comes the promise of happiness, relaxation, and moments of laughter and smiles with friends and family. For many, it is also the time of year when things can become more difficult with the potential for stressors and emotions to become unmanageable.

Through learning how to manage the increase of demands and emotions the holiday season brings upon us, we can immerse ourselves in the joyful moments promised without feeling overwhelmed by the holiday stress.

Tips and Tricks to a FA-LA-LA-LA-Lovely Holiday Season:

  1. Prioritize and manage your time effectively

    The holiday season is short causing us to crunch in work, shopping, holiday parties, and quality time with our loved ones. We want to reflect on what is most important to us (i.e., family, friends, holiday traditions), and ensure that we make time for those that are special to us rather than fulfilling obligations. Be selective this holiday season and do not over-commit yourself for too many holiday parties.

  2. Set a budget

    During the holiday season, many feel pressure to spend more than they can afford wanting everything to be ‘special’. This can often lead to going overboard with spending and gift giving. Start the season by creating a realistic spending budget that includes just about everything you expect to be an expense throughout the season. Now, put the budget in effect and keep track of what you are spending in order to not go overboard.

  3. Grieving the loss of a loved one

    Coping with grief and mourning can be especially difficult during the holiday season. There may be some traditions or events that may be particularly hard for you to attend. Look to those close to you for extra support or spend a little extra time on yourself. It may also be helpful for you to discover ways in which you can remember your loved one. For more ways to help get through the holidays without a loved one visit here.

  4. Prepare yourself and your family

     The holidays can become stressful for everyone. It is not unusual for some conflicts to arise as everyone is busy attending to the personal needs of themselves, their family, jobs, etc. However, it is a good idea to prepare yourself to avoid and/or resolve conflicts as they arise. If a loved one attempts to engage you in a topic that you know has caused tension in the past, change the subject or take some space by leaving the room. Relational dynamics can be tricky, but they do not always have to stay the same. By changing your response to the situation, and later discuss the situation through demonstrating maturity by identifying your part in the situation at hand, you may encourage and elicit the same response from the other person, helping to come to an understanding or solution.

  5. Spend a little time on yourself

    We are told that the holiday season is about giving to others and often forget about taking time for ourselves. It is important that you pay attention to your own needs and feelings throughout the holidays. Set time aside each day to unwind with some rest and relaxation. Spend time with doing enjoyable and relaxing activities with your loved ones, or curl up with a hot drink and let the tension subside.

The holidays can be stressful and anxiety provoking. By creating and utilizing a plan you are taking control and developing ways to manage your holiday stress. Take the time to put things into perspective, spend time with family, and take a little extra care of yourself. If you begin to feel over overwhelmed and need extra support feel free to contact us at 908.322.9623 and we can help set you up with one of our clinicians to develop an action plan.

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