Holiday Stress Test

The holidays really are the best of times and the worst of times. Our tidings of comfort and joy can so easily be devoured by the insatiable stress to do it all, be it all, and buy it all.  Depending on your family’s traditions, this can be a time of great joy and celebration but it can also be a time of great stress. Between coordinating events and the pressure to entertain, Holiday stress can become just as much of a tradition as anything else.

“People are overcommitted,” says Marc D. Skelton, Ph.D., PsyD, a psychologist in Laguna Niguel, Calif. “Christmas and other holidays around this time are always supposed to be fun, and you’re supposed to do a good job in terms of entertaining friends and family.”

That’s a lot of pressure for anyone! So to keep yourself in the “spirit” and out of stress, try a few stress busters this holiday season and remember to take care of yourself!

It’s ok to say “No” – Although you may love your family and friends, trying to keep all of their happiness in mind can take away from your own. If you don’t have time to pick up extra food or coordinate another last-minute event, you don’t have to. It’s easy to forget in the season of giving that your happiness is just as important. Remember, everyone around you will benefit from your smiling face much more than a Grinch!

Decide what matters most – Only a Scrooge would dispute that generosity is admirable. “It’s very satisfying to offer support to the people we love, help out a neighbor, or do something positive for the community,” Breitman writes. But “the conflict arises when we continually agree to things that please everyone but ourselves or when we commit to tasks for which we have no time or desire.

Stay hydrated and well fed! – Amidst the chaos and running around, it is too easy to forget to take care of the basics. Here’s a tip; keep extra water and snacks in your car. If they are constantly around, you’ll be more likely to take advantage of the nutrition your body really needs to keep going. You can even set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to stop and eat. Take care of yourself first!

Ask for help! – The holidays are all about what matters most, those you care about! Remember that they care about you too and would probably be happy to share the load of preparing for the holidays. Getting friends and family involved in the process of preparing has two major benefits; getting others invested and keeping them close!

We hope that you have a happy, healthy and stress-free holiday season!

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