The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. You have to juggle shopping, cooking, entertaining, socializing and cleaning. Many responsibilities can leave you feeling overwhelmed by New Year’s Day. In a nutshell, it’s all too much of a good thing.
Here’s how you can learn to manage your emotions during the holiday season.
1. Take A Realistic Approach
Your holiday celebrations don’t have to be perfect because that’s impossible. If you’re trying to meet unrealistic expectations, you’ll only make yourself feel worse when you hit a snag. Fortunately, you can avoid that unnecessary stress.
The goal should be to have an enjoyable celebration with loved ones. You don’t have to cook a million things and decorate to the nines to achieve that intention. Keeping things manageable won’t compromise your holiday.
2. Don’t Forget To Decompress
If you’re feeling down, you should encourage everyone to take a breather. There’s no point in working yourself to the bone to achieve a false sense of perfection. Instead, you need to know your limits — and setting aside time for a break shouldn’t be out of reach.
Go for a walk around the block. You can also take five minutes to play with your pets as a way to decompress. However you decide to rest, it’s essential to just do it. Your table decor can wait until you get back.
3. Balance Time Spent Socializing
There’s a line between socializing too much and too little. If you overexert yourself, you’ll feel burned out by the time your guests go home. The opposite happens when you choose to stay in the kitchen as a way to avoid socializing completely.
You don’t have to do anything that makes you stressed. Set a limit for how many parties you attend. Feel free to forgo visits to difficult in-laws. You could even cut your holidays short so you’re not overwhelmed.
If you usually feel lonely when the holidays arrive, you should consider reaching out to friends and family to organize something. Are they too far away? Set up a virtual video call to catch up. You can also volunteer so you’re spending your day with people.
4. Let Others Take The Lead
Don’t be too controlling. It can be tempting to do everything yourself when you have a specific vision. However, you might not realize you’re inadvertently making yourself more stressed as a result. The same idea applies when you find yourself saying “yes” too much.
Keep your cool by delegating tasks to others. Is someone offering to help make the mashed potatoes? Let them! They might not taste exactly how you’d prepare them — but it’s not a life-or-death situation. Avoid being such a perfectionist that you find yourself having a bad time.
5. Stick To A Budget
The holiday season can bring financial stress, as well. Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’re likely trying to celebrate without dipping into your bank account too much. Things like presents, food and travel can lead to anxiety about how you’ll afford it all.
Taking time to create a holiday budget should relieve your worries. This way, you won’t fret about overspending. Instead, you can focus on being with your loved ones — that’s what the holidays are supposed to be about.
Keep Your Wits About You This Holiday Season
There’s no denying that the holidays can incite negative feelings. Learning how to avoid stress and anxiety will help you and your family have a more memorable time. Use these tips to make your celebration as stress-free as possible.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability.