Holiday stress is very real for many people. Even if you love the holidays and enjoy your family, it can be a tough time. If you have family issues, then it can be even more of a struggle.
Why the Holidays are Stressful
Some of us really love the holidays. Nevertheless, they can induce stress. Here are just a few of the reasons that people experience stress during the last quarter of the year:
- Seasonal depression
- Financial strain due to gifts, meals, travel, and holiday activities
- Anxiety provoked by holiday gatherings and parties
Furthermore, the holidays typically mean that you spend time with extended family. Often, this means that you have to be around people that you don’t agree with about things such as politics. Many of us also have a history of family trauma. Therefore, gatherings can be triggering.
Then there are those people who opt not to spend the holidays with their families. Whether that’s by choice or circumstance, it can lead to loneliness.
5 Tips for Crafting Through Holiday Stress
Crafting can offer a terrific reprieve from holiday stress. Here are a few tips to use crafting to take a break during a stressful season.
1. Make Alone Time with Crafting
People are often the biggest stressors during the holiday season. You may have houseguests. There are large parties to attend. Even the streets and stores are busier than normal. That’s why it is critical to take regular time away from people to decompress.
Crafting is a great way to use your alone time. It is so much more rejuvenating than plopping in front of the TV for an hour. If you schedule regular crafting time into your week this season, then you should find yourself feeling much more relaxed.
2. Entertain Groups with Crafts
Crafting is a great way to enjoy alone time. However, it also has its benefits when done in groups. For instance, crafting is a nice focus for people with disparate social views.
This year, keep plenty of craft supplies handy for your guests. Offer a variety of materials, and make it easy for people to embrace the opportunity. Some great holiday group craft ideas include:
- A wall where people can add their wishes for the new year, decorated on paper or felt
- Paint or make Christmas tree ornaments
- Yarn-wrapped letters; these work for any holiday
- Collages: seasonal or “vision board” style
3. Embrace your Favorite Go-To Craft
The busy holiday season isn’t the time to learn a difficult new craft. Instead, it’s the time to embrace your favorite craft. Choose the craft that you find to be easiest, least time-consuming, and most meditative.
Furthermore, choose the right patterns and projects within that craft. For example, if you crochet, then you might make a simple double crochet pillow. It is a small, easy project with simple stitches. Therefore, you can use it to practice mindful crafting. This allows you to really sink into the experience and maximize relaxation.
4. Use Scraps and Upcycled Materials
Holiday time isn’t the time to invest a lot of money in new craft materials. Use what you already have in your home. Recycled, upcycled, and scrap material projects are great money-saving options.
5. Focus on Process, Not Product
Many people put a lot of pressure on themselves to be “perfect” for the holidays. Let that impulse go when it comes to holiday crafting. Let craft time be the time when you are messy, imperfect, and carefree. Worry less about the end product and more about using the process to de-stress.
A Note About Crafting for the Holidays
As you can see, crafting can be really soothing during the stressful holiday season. However, there’s a flip side to this.
Many crafters feel obligated or inspired to craft for the holidays. This may include:
- Items to sell at craft fairs
- Crafts to donate to charity
- Gifts for family and friends
- Decor for the home
- Items to sell as gifts online
This can be great. However, as the holiday deadline approaches, crafting itself can become stressful. If you put too much pressure on crafting for the holidays then you risk taking the joy and relaxation out of the experience. In the next post, we’ll look at how to craft for the holidays without adding stress. Be sure to come back next week to check that out.