Black Friday, which was two Fridays ago, has started the official holiday preparations and shopping. As much as holidays are portrayed to be fun, wonderful, and lovely, it can be considered as one of the most stressful times of the year. The holidays are stressful in terms of choosing gifts for loved ones, preparing event celebrations, and budgeting.
Before we go into tips for managing the holiday stress, let’s first understand what it is and the many factors that cause it.
The holiday blues is being depressed during the holiday season. Some of the factors that can cause the holiday blues are stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, and the demands from friends and family. These feelings of sadness may be worst for those who have experienced a divorce, lost a loved one, or are living far from family and friends.
Some symptoms of holiday stress are social isolation, anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, headaches, exhaustion, and stomach pains.
According to a study done by the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, women are the most affected by holiday stress because they take charge of many of the holiday preparations such as preparing meals and decorating the home. Also, women are more likely to report increases in stress levels than men during the holidays. They are also more likely to fall into bad habits such as stress eating.
Another group, according to Rosner Research, to experience high anxiety during the holidays are lower-middle income people. This group not only feels stress from work but also from trying to get everyone’s gift on time. Furthermore, their anxiety is heightened by commercialism and the pressure to spend a ton of money.
If you want to have a sane mental mind during the holidays, here are some tips.
- Be Realistic: Keep an open mind. The holidays don’t have to be “perfect” or similar to celebrations in the past. It’s fine to keep old traditions, but be open to new ones as well.
- Keep a Regular Routine: Changing routines can be very stressful, so try to keep to the same schedule. Eat the same foods, exercise at the same time, or do chores at the same time per week.
- Stick to a Budget: Before going shopping for holidays and gift preparations, decide how much money you are willing to spend. Then stick to it. Don’t try to buy approval and happiness with material goods.
- Be Proactive: Set a schedule when to go holiday shopping, visiting friends, cooking, and other activities. Plan what you are going to cook for the holidays and then buy the ingredients.
- Learn to Say No If You Need It: I have a hard time saying No, and I’m not the only one. It’s important to say No when you need it because if you say yes when meaning to say No, it can leave you resentful, upset, and stressed.
If you know someone who is experiencing holiday depression, here are some general tips to help them out.
- Ask them how you can help: Even if they say no, it’s always nice when someone asks to help.
- Patience: It takes time to learn new coping skills and strategies.
- Listen: Offering support and listening are important, but don’t offer unwanted advice unless asked.
The best gift that you can give to yourself if you are depressed, stressed, anxious is to take care of yourself. Self-love and self-pampering are key to have a happier holiday season.