Come fall time when the kids go back to school, the leaves start to change, and cold weather starts creeping in, this is a time when some of the world’s most important holidays occur. The biggest holiday of them all being Christmas.
Below we are going to discuss…
- Anxiety About the Holiday’s
- Holiday Stress at the Workplace
- Holiday Stress Eating
- Holiday Stress Relief Tips
Anxiety About the Holidays
The holiday’s can bring bouts of anxiety for many festive souls. There are plenty of holidays throughout the year as well as ones that vary culturally and nation.
The one holiday that we immediately think about when we hear the term “holidays” is Christmas and everything around Christmas time.
Some of the most important and most celebrated holidays are around this time. From Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years.
Christmas however is one of the oldest and most celebrated holidays of them all. There is so much prep around this period and prep that is done so far in advance, that how can there not be a little anxiety creeping in.
Christmas requires being somewhat okay with your current finances in order to buy gifts as there is a lot of gift exchanges. It requires decorating the house and tree. It requires cooking up some delicious Christmas holiday meals. It requires gathering the family together and participating in social gatherings, which for those with social anxiety can be difficult.
It requires you to buy a gift off someone’s wish or dreams, a particular item that can be hard to find or get! It requires a lot of work around the home which frankly, is not as easy to accomplish as it once was with both parents in the working fields.
Even when Christmas was, or still is, done by a parent that is a homemaker, it is a lot of responsibility to plan, coordinate, and host a party or event. Time is a factor when both parents can do the work as so much of your day is spent at work.
If there is a stay at home mom or dad then they have time, but yet they are only one person and therefore it is double the work for one person.
Considering inflation, cost of living is extremely high and toys and gadgets for kids are much more advanced and expensive these days.
A toy today can be an iPad or iPhone which is about 1000 dollars, a 2-week paycheck or a 1-week paycheck for those with a higher income.
That is a lot of money for one gift only, excluding all the other gifts that are needed for purchase. The stress of holiday expenses can burden some families.
Christmas is all about giving and receiving as well. There is added pressure to make everything perfect. Guests and family are usually over and they are going to see that Christmas tree and the house so everything must be nicely decorated and cleaned.
Majority of people have several days off for the holidays in order to make everything perfect and spend quality time with the kids.
The emphasis of Christmas is on the kids and seeing their little faces light up when opening their gifts. However, not everyone gets Christmas off, and if you work in a place that is open all days of the week including holidays, then you know the added stress of working Christmas and not being with your family.
The holidays become even more stressful for these individuals that want nothing more than to be at home instead of missing Christmas.
Holiday Stress: Workplace
Sometimes, as much effort you put in to avoid the holiday’s pressure and stress, your work place may encourage it further.
This is an environment in which you spend majority of your time and therefore, you cannot escape all the Christmas decorations, events, and parties that are being presented to you.
If this time of the year in particular gets you worked up, especially with seasonal depression rolling in, it is a good time to remember all that you are grateful for.
Remember to have fun with it, all the festivities at work are bringing joy to some of your coworkers and uniting the work place. This can be a great time to play some games and exchange some small gifts and make someone feel good.
Do not let this stress you out at work. Use this time to have some joy in your life, a break from everyday stress at home and work, and ease those winter blues.
I know hearing those same Christmas songs on repeat can get annoying but if possible, go to a more quiet area or get some earbuds in and play your own music if you can. If it is really bad, speak with the manager and see if the music can be switched around.
Remember that this is a period where a lot of people are being silly, dressing up in ugly sweaters, caroling even when they cannot sing, jumping into Santa and elf suits, Christmas hats, making gingerbread houses and so on.
This is a time when people are letting loose and you should try to do the same and you will see benefits from letting go of your uptight nature for a little while for the rest of the year on.
Holiday Stress: Eating
Another major problem many face with the holidays is eating. Winter in particular is a dangerous time for over eating and cravings.
You are cooped up inside your home more often and not out and about being active as you would be in the summer.
The slight, or massive depending on the circumstances, depression that comes winter time, pushes you to eat and make poor food choices. You turn to comfort foods and indulge into cravings.
You are covered up in all your winter clothes so you don’t look to see the effects of all the overeating that you are doing.
The human mind is funny because if there is a problem such as putting on a few pounds, we ignore it because we don’t see it. We don’t see it because we don’t have to be in shorts, tanks, or bathing suits, therefore the problem is ignored.
However, this affects your whole mood and thinking process and tends to increase anxiety further.
With so many holidays based around food during the colder months, eating is an essential too.
Many big brand consumers release their holiday special drinks with all the whipped cream, milk, sugar, and calories your hearts desire.
Halloween is the start of a crazy chocolate and candy binge where overindulgence in sugar is a must even as adults.
If you are giving out candy and there is left overs, the thinking becomes then who is going to eat it all? I mean you did pay for it so the thought of even throwing it out comes as out of the question.
Thanksgiving comes and once again you are forced to consume copious amounts of food from meats to gravy to carbs and more carbs. All heavily dense food with plenty of fats, sugars, and calories.
Christmas comes and then more bad food choices, again more candy and chocolates and more pounds put on.
The advertising around the holidays revolves around a lot of snacks and little things to get you subconsciously to “try it” and consume it.
From limited edition holiday drinks, to traditional candy apples, gingerbread, candy canes eggnog and more, holiday calories are stuffed everywhere without you even realizing it.
New years’ rolls around with more snacking and added over consumption of alcohol and more empty calories and boom, you are stuck with additional 10 pounds on your waist.
It is too cold and depressing to do anything about it now, you try to go to the gym as a new years’ resolution as many do but fail because they are looking for temporary relief for a long term goal. It takes more than working out, it all starts with your mindset.
If you have made your diet a goal and it is a well-balanced diet that includes a cheat meal through the week or, treats based on your caloric intake through the day, then you can indulge in the holiday treats from occasion you don’t have to restrict yourself completely.
Stay focused on your goals because if you have a bigger goal in mind, it should outweigh temporary satisfaction. If you can avoid places or events where you will fall into temptation do so.
If you can eat a nutritious meal with protein to help keep you full before an event so that you are not tempted to stuff your face, do so.
If you can stick with your diet plan for a week before a big family gathering where you are forced to eat and over eat, then do so.
But like mentioned, it all starts with your mindset first. The reason we do over eat around the holidays and overindulge in many things at this time is because we are not truly happy with ourselves.
You must work on lowering anxiety levels and all else will follow. HERE you can find a comprehensive list of coping strategies to help you ease your anxiety.
How to Beat Holiday Stress
To avoid the stress of the holidays there are a few things to remember first. This stress and anxiety around the holidays should not be there.
Sure we can get a little worked up trying to get everything done, but essentially these moments are celebrated because they bring joy and togetherness.
They make you and those around you feel good, they are not supposed to stress you out. If it does cause a lot of anxiety, you need to stop and reevaluate yourself.
It is also important to note that the holidays have been blown up to a big marketing scheme as well.
All the commercials and ads you see add pressure for you to start Christmas planning and decorating as soon as possible.
As soon as October/November, that month to 2 months before, infomercials and advertisements make sure to get you started on Christmas “before it is too late” “before supplies run out” so that you can get the best tree, get your shopping done and make sure you buy all the gifts you need before stores run out of supplies.
There is no rush, you have to understand that you are working at your own pace that suits you, and you do not need added pressure from marketing strategies to pursue you to waste probably more money than you should for those special holidays.
This is a time to be together, and spend quality time with your loved ones, who you don’t necessarily see all under one roof for probably more than 1-2 times a year.
Remember the real importance of Christmas. Spending quality time with those you love and putting yourselves in a simpler mindset, a time to be mindful and present, apart from your everyday busy, chaotic life.
Apart from work, school, tasks, errands, stress, projects, sickness, care giving, and so forth. It is a time to let loose a little and just relax. Relaxing for most, is a difficult task and one that is harder than it sounds. We feel we are wasting time if we just sit and relax and have a conversation.
Do not go crazy with spending. Once again, you have to remember the true importance of Christmas. There is no reason to have to put yourself in debt for a holiday.
If you are in a crisis and are worried about buying gifts because of your funds, it is also important to continuously remember the meaning of Christmas.
Hopefully those that you are buying for will consider your situation and understand the circumstances, and appreciate the thought of you even getting them anything or building them something that is inexpensive.
Effort goes a long way and you do not need to spend on extremely expensive gifts. A little thought and effort can get you to make a gift that is 10 times more meaningful and beautiful, and that the other person will remember forever, than just dishing out a ton of cash on a gift just to say you bought something.
Anxiety can be managed. If you are feeling the pressures of the holidays there are various natural and homeopathic treatments options to get you back on track.
You should not have to suffer, suck it up, and deal with anxiety, stress, and depression especially for a holiday. Holidays come and go but you are with your mind forever.
Therefore, beating holiday stress in conclusion means…
- Reevaluate your stress level for the holidays and the root cause in order to work to eliminate that anxiety
- Remember the importance of Christmas and what Christmas means and what it is truly about
- Do not get pressured by ads and commercials and marketing campaigns to get you to hurry up with your Christmas spending and decorating, there is no rush and there never was
- Do not spend excessively and especially to the point where it will hurt you financially
- Find creative new ways on gifts that are going to be more meaningful and less expensive
- Manage your anxiety symptoms, the symptoms are there and you need to learn to control them and not live with them
- Be present at the moment. Each holiday happens once in a year and is something exciting and different to look forward too, so have fun with it<<<<CLICK HERE FOR A FULL LIST OF COPING STRATEGIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS>>>>
Last But Not Least
The holidays are a joyous time and try to appreciate this period and have fun with it as much as you can. Delegate tasks among family members in order to even out work load and distress a little.
Focus on your work place and your eating habits around the holidays as well, and take the initiative to control your level of anxiety.
A full comprehensive list to help you feel 100% at ease, stressing less, and overall increase mood and happiness can be found HERE.
Whatever led up to the holiday stress, whether temporary, ongoing, or built up from various difficult factors in your life, it is still the result of underlying anxiety that needs to be addressed.
You are the only person that can change your mood, you are in control of your life.
Evidently, the anxiety has gotten bad enough that you are seeking helpful tips to deal with it or even take the time to read this reflective piece of literature, therefore it is time to heal now.