Feeling Stressed About the Holidays?

Trying to cover the tension and stress that one may feel during this time of year can take a tremendous amount of energy. We have been led to believe that it is easy to create a “perfect” holiday with a fabulous meal and exactly the right gift, fastidiously wrapped, for everyone we know. In reality this season may bring a sense of dread and anxiety. Here are a few tips for coping, which could offer comfort and lower the expectations of perfection.

  1. Do something nice for yourself everyday. Often the simplest things can bring great pleasure; a short walk with the sun on your face, a quiet meditative time in the morning before starting your day, a cup of tea and 5 minutes of silence.
  2. Give the gift of thoughtfulness, rather than a monetary gift. Offer to do an errand for an elderly neighbor, visit a nursing home, lend a book that you enjoyed to a fellow reader, call someone you know would love to hear from you. The act of kindness can feel like a gift to yourself.
  3. One of my favorites: make a BINGO card of things that are annoying to you (your dog ran off, you forgot a key ingredient at the grocery store, your child announced he needs something essential that you don’t have for school the next day, etc.). Reward yourself with a treat when you get a “Bingo”.
  4. Remind yourself that it is okay for you to be feeling the way you are. Be kind to yourself, take time for yourself, slow down and look for the humor.
  5. Remember that there are professionals out there to help you with your struggles. No matter how wonderful your family and friends are, sometimes it takes a professional who is non-judgemental, supportive and offers confidentiality to help make sense of the dissatisfaction that you are feeling.