For many people, the holidays bring a lot of stress, and can be especially true for highly sensitive people. All of the extra work that is involved in preparing for the holidays can easily lead to feelings of overwhelm. Depression or loneliness can also bring on stress. You may have recently lost a loved one, or perhaps you don’t have a good relationship with your family or don’t keep in touch with them as often as you wish. Even bad weather can cause stress, as it may put off family gatherings or make travel difficult.
The best way to deal with stress is to learn how to minimize the things that are causing the stress. Write down your three top stressors, and then brainstorm ways to reduce their impact on you. You may want to base your answers around things like better time management, simplification of tasks, getting support from others, or finding ways to relax (no matter how busy you are).
One simple stress management strategy is to make a conscious effort to have a good time, regardless of the situation or the things you have to do. This may sound obvious, but a positive mindset this time of year is crucial.
It’s important to remember that you’re under no obligation to accept invitations that you don’t feel comfortable with. A simple… “I can’t make it is sufficient. No explanation is necessary. It’s also possible to expand your comfort level to accept some social gatherings. Perhaps it might be a pathway for growth.
How many times have you said to yourself, “I can’t wait for the holidays to be over, so I can have a little peace in my life?” If you expect the holidays to be dreadful, then you will likely get just that. As you look for things to complain about, you only notice the bad stuff, which just attracts more of it.
The best approach is to expect good things to happen and then to look for opportunities to be joyful. If you can do this, you may be surprised at how much you are able to enjoy the holidays!
Are holidays stressful for you? If so, how do you handle it? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
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