5 Ways to Handle with Holiday Stress
Well, would you look at that, a few more weeks and the 2020 Holidays are almost here. It’s like you woke up from New Year’s Eve, worked a little, blinked, got locked down, wore a mask, got locked down a little bit more and before you know it, you’re almost to the end of the year. For many, 2020 is a runaway winner for the longest and shortest year ever award.
The holiday season, inasmuch as you look forward to all its merriment and supposed festive and enjoyable vibe, brings with it a slew of stress-inducing scenarios. Holiday stress can come in different shapes, sizes and forms. Whether it’s the inappropriate comments from friends and family about your weight, your work, status of your love life or the amount of stress you have to deal with doing all the meals, gifts and everything in between - you know it, you’ve heard it and you’ve had enough of it.
Adding the inevitable COVID-19 stress into the mix and you’ll definitely find yourself asking - is there a way out of this? Here are some tips on how to handle the upcoming holiday season, and all the stress that go along with it:
Stress may not always be the enemy
You know very well that stress is all around you - it’s an inevitable part of life and it’s something that’s just always going to be there no matter what you do. According to psychologist and researcher Kelly McGonigal, your stress response is your body’s reaction to counter external risks and threats.
Changing your mindset towards stress can change your body’s reaction to it. While stress may very well be inevitable, its harmful effects don't always have to be. Instead of seeing stress as something meant to bring you down, you can see it as something that allows you to rise to the occasion, an impetus signalling you to be better because you can.
Planning is your friend
As with any situation in life, anticipation is always one of the best things you can do to make sure you’re prepared. Plan ahead and take note of possible scenarios and have contingency plans for them. In this time of flight cancellations and lockdowns, keep yourself updated on last minute crucial information you might need.
If you’re in charge of hosting dinners or throwing parties (subject of course to social distancing regulations in your area), you can start by planning your menu ahead of time. Writing them down and allowing yourself enough time for the grocery shopping, ordering and preparing will lessen the chances of forgetting anything. Make sure to allow time and resources for clean up too.
Planning also means you have enough flexibility for changes and surprises. Life will always be life and it won’t be what it is without surprises. Have enough room in your plans for something unexpected and use the preparedness that you have to deal with it.
Take advantage of responsible online shopping
As if you need more reason to shop online, right? Holidays are a great time for awesome sales, discounts and other promotional offers that will probably make your bank account cry a little. Take advantage of these sales but make sure to be responsible. If you’re still scared to go out of the house and mingle with people but you still want to get your holiday gift game strong, there are a lot of online stores that you can shop at and they probably even have more options for you. Just make sure to be responsible - make a list and set a shopping budget. Setting a budget isn’t enough though, you need to have sufficient willpower to stick to it.
Take control - it’s okay to say “no”
How many times have you said “yes” when you meant to say “no”? How many times have you found yourself doing something or going somewhere just because you don’t want to offend someone? Saying “yes” when you don’t want to can make you resentful and overwhelmed. It may seem okay and harmless in small doses, but if these feelings pile on top of each other, chances are you have an emotional ticking time bomb in your hands. However way it explodes, it’s not going to be pretty.
Take control of your life because it is yours and it’s the only one you’re going to have. Say no when you need to and agree only if you do.
Ask help if you need to
We’re always told “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going”. It doesn’t necessarily mean the tough needs to go alone, right? Sometimes even the toughest of toughs needs a steady hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on - holiday season or not.
When things are becoming too much and it’s a little harder to bear, reach out to someone whom you know can help you clear your head. Your mental health should be a priority because that dictates everything.
In conclusion, don’t let the stress of the upcoming Holiday Season get you down. Holidays are fun! It’s a season of being together, laughing together and remembering how everyone stood strong together. It’s a reminder that no matter how long/short this year was, there’s always new beginnings to look forward to.
Hero Image by Clay Banks on Unsplash.