The holidays can be a joyful but also a stressful time, especially for women. Although you might be able to reconnect with friends, you may feel pressure to buy gifts, which trigger worries about money. And when life feels busy already, holiday celebrations, extra cooking, gift-buying, and traffic can keep you at a hectic pace until you feel like you’ll never get everything done.
What triggers stress for you during the holidays? Close your eyes and think about the events (or people) that make your pulse race. Now, let’s focus on a couple of ways that will help you to reduce stress.
- Set a budget. Lack of money is one of the biggest sources of stress during the holiday season. This year, set a budget, and don’t spend more than you’ve planned. It’s okay to tell your child that a certain toy costs too much. Don’t buy gifts that you’ll spend the rest of the year trying to pay off.
- Get organized.Make lists or use an appointment book to keep track of tasks to do and events to attend
- Learn to say no.It’s okay to say “no” to events that aren’t important to you. This will give you more time to say “yes” to events that you do want to attend.
- Give something personal.You can show love and caring with any gift that is meaningful and personal. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It can be as simple as a phone call or a note that shares your feelings.
- Be realistic. Try not to put pressure on yourself to create the perfect holiday for your family. Focus instead on the traditions that make holidays special for you.
- Take breaks. Even when you’re with a group of friends and family you haven’t seen for a while, pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Excuse yourself and step into a room by yourself, and do some relaxation breathing. Spend a little time by yourself if you can. Go for a short walk.
- Keep a regular sleep, meal, and exercise schedule. To be able to effectively deal with stressful situations, you need to take care of yourself.
- Ask for support.Holidays can be particularly difficult if you are coping with the death of a loved one or a relationship breakup. You may think that you’ll get over the sadness on your own, but most people need treatment to get better. Even if you feel embarrassed to ask for help and support, talk with your physician about counseling and medicine for depression.