If you’re experiencing holiday stress, you’re not alone. For many of us, the holidays are the most stressful time of the year.
Below are seven articles from my blog that can help you cope with holidays. You’ll find articles about maintaining healthy habits, self-care, dealing with difficult family members, setting boundaries, coping with grief and loneliness, and preparing for holiday travel. I hope they will help you manage and reduce your holiday stress.
The holidays tend to be a season of stress for most of us; a time when there’s more to do, pressure to buy beyond our means, obligations to spend time with relatives who we’d rather not see, and expectations that we’ll do it all with ease. However, by making a few reasonable changes, you can preserve your emotional well-being during this stressful time of year.
I wish I could promise you a solution to heal fractured relationships and painful memories, to bring you joy and peace, but many problems can’t be solved so quickly or easily. Instead, we can love and care for ourselves through the challenges that the holidays can bring. We can choose to be the best versions of ourselves and empower ourselves to celebrate (or not celebrate) in the ways that feel right for us. Giving yourself the gift of self-care may be the most important gift you’ll receive.
Will you be facing some challenging people or situations as you celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other holidays this year? Creating a plan to cope with challenging people and situations during the holidays can help you reclaim your power and feel in control.
This holiday season many of us will experience loneliness and loss. We usually associate grief with death, but we grieve a lot of other losses such as a break-up or divorce, moving to a new community, being estranged from your family, or not feeling connected to or accepted by the people you are with.
Travel can take a lot out of you, especially if you’re dealing with a chronic illness — whether it’s depression, migraines, cancer, or back pain. In this article, Daniela Paolone, LMFT, who is both a psychotherapist and suffers from chronic illness herself, offers helpful tips for making holiday travel manageable when you have a chronic illness.
As Christmas and the New Year approaches, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy — the sense that you must do more, spend more, be more. All of this pressure and unrealistic expectations can make it hard to enjoy the holidays fully. It keeps us busy and distracted from what matters most. Would you like a simpler, more peaceful holiday season? If so, try saying “no” to the holiday expectations that don’t reflect your values or that cause you unneeded stress and anxiety.
It’s a blessing to celebrate when we enjoy each other’s company and treat each other with respect and kindness. On the other hand, it’s draining to spend time with people who exude negative energy, always seem to have a problem or crisis, and demand your attention. Often, overly dramatic people, such as these, want to suck you into their negativity vortex.
Last year, I was a guest on the Unapologetically Sensitive Podcast. And host, Patricia Young, has generously re-released this holiday episode. In it we talk about ways to make the holidays smoother—in terms of traveling, having guests, dealing with family members who may be challenging, feeling obligated, and lots of ways that Sensitives can provide better care for themselves during these times of overstimulation, high expectations and lots of activity.
©Sharon Martin, LCSW.
Photos from Canva.com.