Christmas. It is supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” and yet it has a way of turning into the most stressful time of the year.
Maybe it’s because the family is staying with you for a week or you’re anxious about over-spending on gifts but want to be generous, or maybe you’re spending the holidays alone this year and are feeling a little lonely. Whatever the source —family, finances or painful memories—you’re not alone.
The stressor : Change
Loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a divorce, illness, empty nest for the first time. Even at the best of times, the holidays are stressful -- but when there's an additional emotional burden, they can be especially difficult.
When there's a loss or a change in our lives, our traditions change -- and that's hard because we will miss our favorite things. Anticipate how changes will affect those traditions. It's important to be open to new traditions. Take the best of the old, borrow from new people in your life, and create new traditions.
The stressor: You like things perfect — and things aren’t perfect
So you want everything to be perfect, but inevitably, something goes wrong. How can you let it go and just enjoy your time with your loved ones?
Many of us have a tendency to set unrealistic goals for ourselves, especially this time of year. Striving too hard will only further cause stress and anxiety.
Write a list of what you're going to focus on today — the stuff that deserves priority in your life — and realize that stressing over the little things isn't necessary.
The stressor: You’re lonely
Being single, especially during the Holidays can be difficult.
Between Disney fairy tales and Hallmark, it's no wonder so many singles think finding the right one is the be-all and end-all. Remind yourself that you're OK on your own.
Being alone is sometimes a choice—maybe you’re single because you broke off a relationship with someone who was selfish or non-attentive or who just didn’t make you feel as special as you deserve to feel. If that’s the case, solo is definitely the better option! Reach out to friends, do not isolate.
The stressor: Your bank account balance is dwindling
Are you totally stressed over how much you spend during the Christmas season—and who you should spend it on? You don’t want to leave anyone out but how can you give without going overboard?”
Money is tight for just about everyone this time of the year, so odds are the people in your life are experiencing the same kind of stress over gift-giving that you are. So why not take the worry out of it for both of you by acknowledging it and making a date to spend some time together instead.
Research suggests we often derive more lasting happiness and satisfaction from experiences than from material items, so you’ll both get more out of it—without putting a serious dent in your savings accounts. It’s a win-win-win!
Have a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year.
adapted from Self Magazine