holidays are supposed to be a pleasurable
and enjoyable time. A time when people
gather to celebrate a day, an occasion
or a season, right? Not necessarily.
For many people, the holidays cause
stress and anxiety.
makes the holidays so stressful?
factors that increase stress include time,
money, and family.
becomes precious as the holidays approach
because more needs to be done in addition
to daily responsibilities.
There are parties and school events to
attend, presents to buy, make, and wrap,
grocery shopping and food to prepare for
there are more tasks to be completed in
the same amount of limited time.
And, unfortunately, responsibilities like
work, child care, relationships and bills
cannot be ignored simply because of the
some people are currently celebrating
holidays and others are preparing to,
now is a good time to improve your time
Create a list
of responsibilities to complete.
Ask others (partners, siblings,
children) to complete some tasks in order
to complete within a realistic timeframe.
Otherwise, recognize that not all
of your tasks are necessary, and cross
those items off the list. For example,
hosting Thanksgiving requires a visit
to the grocery store. However,
you do not need to have napkin
rings, placecards, or perfectly crafted
list and identify dates when
items need to be accomplished.
Mark them in your calendar or hang the
dated list on the refrigerator.
tasks during off-peak hours .
Consider shopping before or after
time for yourself . Exercise,
read a book, or take a walk. Determine
a day and time (perhaps Sunday at 3:00pm)
where you do not schedule any other responsibilities.
Do not forgo this because the holidays
are approaching. Enjoyable and
relaxing activities are even more necessary
during the stressful holiday season.
often become strained during the holidays.
People feel the need to get the
"right" present or host the perfect party
or dinner. As a result, people
spend money they do not have. The
accrued debt causes distress not only
during the holiday season, but for months
and even years later.
you start shopping and spending money
you do not have, create a budget.
Determine how much money you can spend
during the holiday season and spend accordingly.
To create a budget, make a list
of all of your expenses (including
coffee, cigarettes, etc.). Then
make a list of your income. Subtract
your expenses from your income and that
is how much money you can spend this holiday
season. If you want extra money,
look at you expenses list and see what
you can reduce (i.e. pack a lunch instead
of eating out).
your resulting holiday budget is not as
large as you would like, you may have
to buy fewer or less expensive gifts than
you did in the past. Be creative
and make gifts. Think about making
gift certificates that are redeemable
for your time (a future sledding date,
cuddle time, or cookie making time).
more detailed information on how to create
a budget look at these resources:
"Get A Financial Life"
by Beth Kobliner
many people, their families are a source
of support and strength. They interact
on a regular basis and enjoy each other's
these families, the holidays are another
time to be together and celebrate.
It is a time that they look forward to.
this is not true for everyone.
Some people feel stress, anxiety, and
even pain when they are with their family.
This may be a result of old tensions,
alcohol or drug use, different value systems,
or abuse or neglect. As a result,
holidays with the family are not always
pleasant and enjoyable. If this
is the case for you, consider the following
I have to spend the holidays
with my family?
you don't. As an adult you can
decide what is best for you. If
spending the holidays with your family
will not be enjoyable or healthy for you
then you can choose not to go.
you remember that you have a choice regarding
the holidays, you can also choose to do
things differently. Maybe spending
the holidays with your family has not
been enjoyable for you in the past, but
you still want to see them. Before
the holidays arrive spend some time thinking
about what makes interacting with your
family difficult. After you have
done this you can better prepare for your
Take time to slow yourself
down. Deep breathing, prayer,
and meditation can help you
take time to think about how
to respond to family situations rather
than automatically reacting to them.
Bring a friend
with you . They can be
there to support you and make sure that
you stay safe. You can also identify
a family member that you get along with
or care for and spend time with that person.
Finally, remember that
now that you are an adult
you can determine when you come and go.
You can go to another room to slow
yourself down or even take a walk.
If you need or want to leave the celebration
early, you can do that as well.
time of the year creates a highly charged
atmosphere that is contagious.
It can be fun, energetic, and exciting.
But it can also create tension,
anxiety, and stress. Rather than
allow the stress of the holiday season
to overcome you, implement some of these
and have a more satisfying holiday season.
Have a safe, relaxing, and healthy
you need additional or professional support
during this time, consider connecting
with a psychotherapist.
full-length article (includes information
about death and grief, alcohol, food,
and depression) log onto www.tonyaladipo.com