Life is hard. Choose joy anyway.
44 percent of women in a study on holiday stress say their stress levels increase over the holiday, compared with 31 percent of men.
It’s no secret women tend to feel more stress during the holidays. Expectations are high, from work to family to food preparation, and there are SO many commitments. Fun ones, mostly, but adding yet another gift to purchase to your list or that one potluck you shouldn’t miss adds up. I know it does for me. Every year before the holiday season I sort of take a deep breath, because I know that I’ll need to juggle so much and just keep moving toward the finish line. Some days, that moving is fun or nostalgic (baking cookies from scratch! Just like I used to with my grandma!). Other days, it’s slogging through with determination because I’m exhausted and I really don’t care if these cupcakes look nice.
So, while we’re all battling the stress of the holidays, let’s do two things. Let’s remember that it takes a lot of energy to make it all happen, and give each other grace. And let’s make sure we have the tools to manage the stress!
Preventing (too much) Holiday Stress
- Be realistic. I think this one alone can be a game changer. The holidays don’t have to be perfect. Or just like last year. Traditions can flex, families change, and new rituals emerge. What if your family can’t be together? Maybe try FaceTime, opening some presents, or compete with the best desserts over Facebook.
- Stick to a budget. I know, who does this at Christmas?? But avoiding a mountain of food that may not be eaten or a mountain of gifts that leave you feeling sick when you get those credit card bills isn’t worth it. Decide how much money you have to spend in total, then that tells you how much you have to spend per person. Do the same when grocery shopping – know your budget and stick to it. One less pie will probably be OK. You can also try a few other things instead of gift-giving – try donating to a charity together, giving homemade gifts, or starting a family or friend gift exchange.
- Calendar it out. This could also be a really big deal to help with stress levels. Schedule your shopping, baking, seeing friends, and other holiday traditions. You can color-code blocks of time in your calendar, and you’ll know when everything’s coming up and don’t have to stress about it!
- Take a breather. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, it can rejuvenate you. Do something not busy – go for a walk, sit quietly and listen to soothing music, or sit and read a book with some hot cocoa – maybe even adult hot cocoa with a splash of rum.
I hope you’ll use these tips this holidays season. I will too!
If you’ve been struggling with any physical issues or even feeling down, talking to a doctor about it might bring some easy solutions.
Schedule a visit today with the button below. We look forward to hearing from you!
Dr. Julie Drolet
P.S. Stress during the holidays is the norm, it seems. An annual checkup can help you relieve that stress to make sure everything’s working as it should!