Avoid Holiday Stress

Contributor: James Cruthers, MS, CSAC, ICS, Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor, ThedaCare 


Holiday Stress

The holiday season is a time to get together with family and friends and to enjoy one another’s company, but for many people the holidays can also be a time of sadness (missing people no longer with us) and negative stress. 
Over the years I have met so many people that historically have placed such high expectations on themselves that the negative stress far outweighs the enjoyment they experience.  It becomes something to “get through” rather than a time to celebrate. 
Frequently people say that they “do it for their children” but never bother to ask their children if these things are important to them.  So when it comes to holiday preparations remember:
  • Have realistic expectations (we don’t have to do it all!). 
  • Prioritize (we don’t have to do it all at the same time).
  • Delegate (we don’t have to do it all by ourselves).
  • Keep things simple. 
  • Have honest conversations with family to find out what people really look forward to. 
  • Manage time well (don’t do it all at the last minute).
  •  Set a reasonable time to end the day (sometimes kids AND adults get  cranky when they’re over tired).
  •  Spend money responsibly (don’t set yourself up to still be paying for  Christmas 2015 in December 2016).  Again, discuss this with family, set a  limit and stick to it!
  • Exercise (this is a great way to help offset stress)!