The holiday season is meant to be a time to enjoy, to have fun, to relax. It’s a time when adults don’t need to work, and children don’t need to go to school. But it’s not as fun for some people as others believe. In fact, the holiday season is the most stressful time of the year. According to surveys, the beginning of December is also the busiest time for psychologists, as holiday stress builds up, which can result in tension, conflict, the opening of old arguments and sometimes relationship breakdown.
According to investigation, holiday stress can be caused by family reunions, spending time with in-laws, increased participation in activities, such as shopping and parties, increased eating and drinking of alcohol, bad traffic conditions when travelling, financial concerns caused by buying gifts for family and children, increased workloads before the holidays, not being able to slow down once the holidays have begun, and increased free time to worry about problems.
So what do we do to get rid of all this stress? First of all, we must try to accept that there is no way to completely eliminate holiday stress, as it is normal to be stressed. But what we can do is prepare ourselves in advance instead of hoping for the best when the time comes. When we are prepared, we often respond and react better when problems arise.
Think about where your holiday stress might show up. For example, who you don’t get on with, when and where you’ve experienced holiday stress before, what makes you feel stressed and how you respond when you are stressed. Then make an action plan for what to do when similar situations that you have encountered before arise, for example taking a walk when you start to get irritated by your in-laws.
Other things you can do beforehand to alleviate the pressure of the holiday season can be to control your diet, do regular exercise, make a good budget before shopping, talk to close friends, etc. Remember holiday stress is ubiquitous. Don’t blame yourself for being unhappy and depressed during the holidays.
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