It is not a mystery that the holidays makes us stressed. But knowing exactly what causes stress during the holidays is something else entirely. While it’s different for each of us, this explains some of the more common reasons why we feel stressed during holidays.
Summary of What Causes Stress During the Holidays
First, let’s look at some reasons that might stress you out during the holidays. You may feel stressed from planning a party or cooking holiday meals for company. Also, going to a party is stressful: you have to decide what to wear or you have social anxiety. Some people get more worried and stressed about gaining weight with all the special holiday dishes being offered at dinners and parties.
And, there’s the stress over shopping: finding the right gifts and dealing with crowds. The extra people out shopping makes dealing with crowds even more challenging while shopping, traveling to see family, seeing certain people that cause stress, or even not knowing how to properly tip during this time of year.
Naturally, one of the biggest stresses with the holidays is how it impacts your bank account. A lot of different expenses come up during the holidays:buying gifts, planning a party, paying for travel, buying a new outfit or getting your hair done for a big holiday party. Take away some of the financial stress with a holiday spending plan way before the holidays begin. Put aside a little bit of money from every paycheck. And then, when the time holiday shopping begins, you already have what you need in your savings account and don’t have to stress quite as much about it.
Other ways finances impacts what causes stress during the holidays, is the urge to buy too much or worrying when money is too scarce to afford shopping. Again, setting up a spending plan early in the year helps alleviate stress. Either it helps you set limits for your spending. Or, it helps you slowly pool enough money together. And, we must always remember it’s not about buying a lot of gifts. You have the option of removing some of the shopping stress by adopting the practice of simplicity. Buy fewer presents and instead find ways to celebrate together with your loved ones to create special memories.
There’s ways you can make some extra holiday money if you find your budget stretched too thin:
- Declutter your home and sell things. There’s several ways to sell unneeded items: Facebook groups, sale apps and Ebay.
- Start a side hustle from home. Use your hobby to start a business, freelance write for blogs, get hired doing customer service calls, or many of the 100’s of ways you can earn from home.
- Save by shopping sales, shopping through rebate sites, or giving handmade gifts.
Having Too Much to Do
Another thing that the holidays create stress from is simply not having the time to do everything. Does this scenario sound familiar to you? You just got an invitation to a party. But, when you read the date and time you see it’s the same night as your husband’s company party. And, both are the night before you have to get dozens of cookies baked for you children’s school. Shall we dare talk about the house needs cleaned before you in laws arrive in two days, you haven’t finished shopping for gifts and nothing has been wrapped.
There comes a time when you are stretching yourself too thin and simply need to say no to some people. It isn’t ideal, but you can’t do everything all on your own. Yes, the party might be more fun than a company party, but your husband will appreciate your support. Plan ahead by making the cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it. Involve the kids in the house cleaning and cookie baking, And that budget we talked about? Budget in a house cleaner!
One of the best things you can do for yourself is schedule time to relax. You need a chance to recharge your batteries, especially during the busy times. Maybe it’s watching a holiday romance movie or reading a holiday theme story. Whatever, you do, just take time for yourself.
Dealing With Family, Friends and Worse
No matter how well your family gets along or how healthy your family relationships may be, there is still stress. You might be in habit of placing too many expectations on yourself, trying to be perfect like so-and-so. Well, here’s the probable truth. So-and-so is feeling that same way! We are all flawed. We can’t be perfect. And, we all deal with stress during the holidays.Remind yourself that you don’t have to compare yourself to anyone. You are fabulous in your own unique way.
What if you have to deal with others that trigger your stress or anxiety? It’s hard, especially when that person is family or a friend of a friend. Before attending a event where this person will, also, be consciously prepare yourself. Fill your heart and mind with peace, love and strength. Pray for these.
God will be present with you giving the right words to say. Claim that promise.
Spend time around those that you enjoy. Leave space between you and that person that pushes your buttons.
If you must engage with them, be reminded God’s got your back. Finally, if you must, distance yourself from situations where dysfunctional relationship reside. It might mean going to family dinners less often or turning down a party invitation. But, in the end you must feel safe and not let the stress have its power over your life.
I suspect, if you are at all like me, what causes stress during the holidays for you has been in this post. I can honestly say they have for me. Finances were an ongoing stress for many years. And though it’s much better now, we are still human and therefore tempted in wanting more than what we have. And, have my share of social anxiety. It’s like there’s two of me: one loves the idea of socializing and other of me wants to completely avoid it. Due to living several hours from family, we don’t make it there during holidays very much. While I regret we don’t get to see them on holidays, we, also, find relief in not spending $100’s traveling and also the stress that comes with being around family that you aren’t used to being around very much.
The holidays are a time to rejoice and celebrate with those you love. It doesn’t have be all about running near and far chasing after the flashy stuff. Consider what’s important to you during the holidays and plan how you spend time enjoying being with others you care about. Find new and interesting ways to create new holiday traditions that can replace other things that make you stress out. It might be making pizzas and playing board games for Christmas Eve instead of flashy full course dinner. But, I guarantee you and your family will have more fun!
- Plan ahead – your money and your tasks
- Better to do things early, than later
- Focus on priorities and delegate where possible
- You, your spouse, and children come first – do what gives you joy
- Replace stressful situations with more simple, fun new traditions
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