Stress Over the Holidays

For many of us the Holidays can be a time of Major Stress. Some dread that time with family that brings back all those childhood issues. Some stress over having to spend so much money that they do not have for the children or for gifts they feel obligated to buy. For others, it is the tug-a-war between obligations and in-laws. Or, should we say, in-laws and out-laws? And, for still others, it is too much eating and drinking. And, too much to do.

How much stress you allow to touch you has everything to do with how conscious you are or can be about what is in your mind. How aware are you of what pushes your buttons? How much can you prepare for avoiding being stressed by in-laws and sis’ jealousy and mom’s critical attitude? Do you have a plan? If you have a plan, will you follow it? Too often we think we can just play it off the cuff. But, when we try to do that, we are often overwhelmed by a concert of things going Not Quite as You Wanted or Expected.

If you are truly aware and conscious, you will be monitoring your mental pulse all the time. What will you do if something gets under your skin? Will you be able to quietly slip out and find a quiet place to regroup, meditate and do some mindful breathing. If you are the Cook or Host and things are not going according to schedule, what can you do to regain mental control? Self-talk about how the season is about love and joy and not how spectacular the turkey is could help.

Even the AARP put out a list of things to do to Reduce Holiday Stress. So, I guess no matter how old you get, little things can still upset you and frazzle you during the holidays.

AARP suggests you

  1. Create a Game Plan,
  2. Make a budget and stick to it,
  3. Accept the reality of guests arriving late and your mother getting on your nerves,
  4. Beware of unhealthy stress relievers, such as drinking or eating too much,
  5. Create new traditions,
  6. Make time for your own health by keeping your sleep schedule and getting regular exercise,
  7. Give yourself a break in the midst of doing things for others; listen to calming music, do some deep breathing or just sit,
  8. Be proactive and think about how to do things differently so you won’t be so stressed out, and
  9. Enjoy! Remember to savor the time with people you love.


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