How To Cope With Holiday Stress

Published on November 12th, 2020

Updated on January 2nd, 2024

How To Cope With Holiday Stress

The holidays can be an exciting time for people, but it is common to also experience a great deal of stress during the holiday season. Most adults tend to be stressed about the holiday season for a number of reasons. Whether it is finances, family drama, work stress, or simply having too much to do, you can easily get overwhelmed when the holidays roll around.

Even though stress is generally unavoidable during the holidays, it does not mean that you are doomed to be dragged through the season. There are methods you can use to manage the stress of the holidays so they do not consume you. 

Going into the holiday season with a plan is a key part of minimizing the stress that comes with social pressures. A plan that sets clear boundaries, priorities and limits for yourself can make a huge difference in how you are able to cope with the busy months at the end of the year. Consider using the following methods to develop a holiday plan that minimizes stress for you.

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Make A Budget And Stick To It

A huge stressor that comes with the holidays is financial strain. Between social gatherings, dinners, activities, and presents, it is no wonder why so many suffer from a financial strain during the holiday season. Financial wellness is an important part of overall self-care, so it is important to consider your own financial wellness needs during the holidays. To prepare for the holiday season, create a budget and stick to it. This can help a great deal with managing stress.

Budgeting for the holidays should start early- before the season arrives. That way, you can feel prepared and confident when the seasonal activities roll around. When making your budget, be realistic about what you can do. Plan how much you will need to put away for the season, and place a spending cap on yourself.

Consider where your money goes carefully during the holidays, and remember to not lose sight on the core meaning of the holiday season. It happens all too often that we get so wrapped up in giving extravagant gifts that we forget that the holidays are about spending time with people we care about. What matters is not who gives the most impressive gift, but rather your ability to enjoy the moment with the people you love.

Stick To Your Personal Boundaries

The holidays tend to call for a lot of bonding time. Whether it is with friends, family, coworkers or significant others, it can feel like you are being pulled in many different directions to make everyone happy. The problem with that is that when you are trying to make everyone else happy, you become so stressed and overwhelmed that you burn yourself out. This is why it is important to set your boundaries and limits with others and stick to them.

It may not be possible to make everyone happy during the holidays, and that is okay. It is not your job to make sure everyone else enjoys their holiday season. You, like everyone else, have your own limits. Your life continues even during the holidays, and you have responsibilities that cannot be neglected or put to the side to please others. 

In order to minimize stress during the holidays, set your personal boundaries and stick to them.

What matters most is you stay true to your needs and prioritize your own self-care. Doing this by setting personal boundaries will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed with stress.

Say ‘No’ To Some Plans

Holiday season stress comes from being expected to do more than you can realistically do. That is why it is okay to say ‘no’ to some plans. Not every year will be an easy one, and some things that you may have been able to commit to in the past may not be feasible for you now.

Stress can come from taking on too much, and not checking in with yourself and being realistic about what you can do. Considering this, it is important to think about what you need to say ‘no’ to. Whether it is a social gathering, family event, potluck dinner or gift exchange, if it is too much stress to commit to, just say no.

It may be difficult at times, in the long term it can save you a great deal of time and energy to respectfully decline invitations and requests for things you cannot commit to doing.

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