The holidays can be stressful from spending money on gifts, dealing with the in-laws or spending time with our own families. As a result, people may be experiencing heightened emotions. If you are looking to make sure that you manage anxiety this time of year here are 5 tips to relieve holiday stress.

  1. Communicate expectations with your partner: It’s common to take stress out on our partner when we feel overwhelmed and anxious. Discuss with your partner how you are going to split family time. Agree on how you as a couple want to establish your own holiday rituals and traditions. Share openly your ideas and hopes for the holidays as you develop realistic expectations and make necessary compromises together.
  2. Create a Budget: Especially during this difficult economic time, financial concerns are paramount for many (finances are listed as a top stressor in most surveys.) Avoid overspending that is not aligned with priorities that derail you and create stress.
  3. Coping with the loss of a loved one: sometimes a family member has passed away during the year and this holiday season is especially difficult. Sometimes family structures have changed (divorce, breakup etc) and this can also prompt feelings of sadness during the holiday season.
  4. Time Management: Much of our anxiety that comes during the holiday season is about getting things done on time. With an already busy schedule, holiday activities can create time pressure. Making lists and managing time will help you feel less overwhelmed and more in control. Try not to leave things for last minute and try to accomplish your daily lists of to-dos. Prioritize your own and your family needs before you meet the expectations of others.
  5. Avoid Stressful Situations: Identify your own boundaries and recognize that you don’t have to feel pressured into meeting another person’s expectations. Friends and family can place demands that can conflict with your needs. You want to assert what’s best for you and your family.

Stress is unavoidable during the holidays but remember to focus and enjoy the holidays positive moments and cherish the time with  those you care about.

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