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We all struggle with holiday stress at one point or another. You may be happy as a fiddle throughout, then one day, you just snap from all the pressure.

It’s perfectly normal. We’ve all been there.

But why does it have to be like that? Isn’t there some way we can relax this holiday season and enjoy the festivities?

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Yes, there is! In this post, we’re going to talk about four common holiday-related pressures and we’ll tell you how to deal with them.

Let’s get started.

You Stress Over the Budget

The Stressor

As soon as summer ends, we get bombarded with holiday ads and commercials. You stay strong at first. But after seeing them for the hundredth time, you’re hooked. You have no choice but to feel like if you don’t get these things, your holidays will be a complete failure!

Then, once everything’s stocked, piled, hung, and draped, buyers’ remorse hits you in waves. You no longer feel the bliss you had when you were doing the actual shopping. Now, you just feel the pressuring of overspending.

The Fix

This is going to take practice and a whole lot of self-discipline. But we have faith in you!

At the start of the holiday season, write out a budget. Make lists for all the decorations, food, and anything else you’ll need.

Now, comes the hard part. You’re going to have to stick to that budget. No matter what! We understand that temptations will rise and you may feel the urge to stray. Fight it.

Another thing you may consider adjusting is your gift list. The perfect present doesn’t have to be extravagant and pricey. It can be something simple, like baked goods, a knitted sweater, or a photo album. They’re all affordable, but it’s the thought that went into them that counts.

Then, once the holidays are over and life goes back to normal, you’ll be proud of yourself for sticking to the budget. You’ll also be happy that you’re not broke.

You’re Anxious about Spending the Holidays Alone

The Stressor

The holidays are one of those times during the year when the absence of family can be felt. But sometimes, you just can’t get together with your loved ones for one reason or another. 

Even if you’re the one who wanted to opt out of family gatherings this holiday season. It can still be hard to cope with the anxiety of spending the holidays by yourself.

We’re trained to believe that holidays are empty and meaningless without family. That can add loads of pressure on you during the holidays.

The Fix

Thanks to technology and high-tech gadgets, even people on the other side of the globe are a mere call away. There are various ways you can get in touch with them, like:

  • Email
  • Texts
  • Skype
  • Zoom
  • FaceTime

Looking forward to going out and joining in some holiday cheer? Why not attend community events and local concerts?

Don’t want to go alone? There’s probably a co-worker or neighbor who is away from family like you. Invite them to go with you and make a fun night out of it.

Volunteering is another great option. Sharing your time with others in need can make you feel good and reduce some of all those holiday pressures. Plus, you’ll meet new people with similar interests and pastimes like you.

You Feel Overwhelmed

The Stressor

The holidays are mostly about getting together with your family. There’s also a slew of social events, parties, and gatherings to attend.

Sometimes, you’re supposed to either organize half of them or host the other half. And you end up running like a headless chicken.

Don’t forget to jam in a whole bunch of holiday shopping in those extra free minutes you have in between. All that pressure can make even Martha Stewart overwhelmed!

The Fix

Learn to pace yourself. Allow yourself to set certain boundaries and stay strong when it’s time to carry them through.

Do you normally stay at your parents’ or in-laws’ during the holidays? Then, tell them in advance that this year, you’ll be staying for only three days instead of the usual five.

If a friend or colleague is throwing a party, go a bit later than usual. Then, stay for only a couple of hours rather than waste half the night at a party you didn’t even want to go to in the first place.

Forget about holiday norms and traditions. In the end, everything will look great and everyone will have a great time.

You just have to stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t believe in those unrealistic idealized notions of picture-perfect holidays. Those belong in magazines, not in real life.

Think about it. Having a less-than-perfect holiday with its impromptu and messy accidents may sound hectic. But it’ll make your holidays more authentic, memorable, and beautiful than any magazine shoot.

You’re Disappointed with Your Unfinished Goals

The Stressor

As the holidays roll around, you can’t help but notice how fast one year has gone by. That leads you to start thinking of everything that’s happened in the previous months. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always end well.

Our brains are wired to seek the bad, the lacking, and all our unfinished goals. Instead of being proud of arranging your files, you stress over the messy garage you haven’t organized.

We’re prone to fall into this trap any time during the year. But it becomes much worse during the holidays when stress levels are already on the rise.

The Fix

Here’s some advice for you this holiday season: be kind to yourself. Show yourself some empathy and compassion.

You do it so easily with others, why not you? You deserve it just like they do.

Focus on everything you’ve accomplished, no matter how small. Be proud of your hard work and maybe even get something nice for yourself as a ‘thank-you.’

Then, when the new year begins, make sure you’re setting up realistic goals. If they’re important to you, you’ll find a way to get them done.