The holiday season opens with Halloween, builds to Thanksgiving and continues gaining momentum through the end of the year. While holidays are supposed to brings us love and joy, many find the holiday season to be ‘somewhat’ or even ‘very’ stressful.

Common Causes of Holiday Stress

The problem arises when we break the “all things in moderation” rule. It is possible to have too much of a good thing. Even if everything is fun, a packed schedule can leave us feeling frazzled, rather than fulfilled.

Eating, drinking and spending too much is also not a good thing as this has serious consequences. Overeating leads to weight gain whereas drinking too much burdens the liver and can lead to embarrassing behavior that will hardly be forgotten. Last but not least, spending too much can get us in debt and this is easy to do in today’s overconsuming society. It is even desirable.

Spending too much time with family can also be frustrating. There needs to be a balance between bonding and alone time. We all know that these gatherings can sometime result in more dread than love.

On the opposite end, there is the problem of not enough togetherness. People who have recently suffered a loss find these days particularly painful as they miss their loved ones and they make the lonely ones feel even lonelier.

Tips on Reducing Holiday Stressors

A great thing about holiday stress is that you can see it coming and take action to minimize it.

Manage your finances 

By focusing on budgeting and saving money throughout the year, you can minimize the financial stress that comes with the holiday season. Budgeting will allow you to identify saving areas. For example, by conserving energy, your Gas South utility bill will be reduced. by conserving energy.

Focus on activities you enjoy and leave the rest behind

Don’t waste your time and energy on superfluous activities and things that don’t make you happy. Pick your favorite holiday activities and skip the rest so you don’t enter the New Year exhausted and depressed.

Share the tasks

Who said that you have to do everything yourself? You can also do them at a smaller scale. After all, you’re only human.

How To Stay Mentally Healthy During the Holidays

To key to staying mentally healthy is to take care of yourself at all times.

Keep a regular sleep, meal, and exercise schedule

If you are sleep deprived, you will only feel worse and your will crave bad food to keep your energy up. Quality food is your best fuel to keep going and exercise is what will release endorphins that can only further boost your holiday spirit.

Honor your limitations

Pinpoint how much togetherness you and your family can take before feeling negative stress and limit the time you are together for it to still feel special but without draining your spirit. As for difficult relatives, nothing is set in stone and it’s completely acceptable to even forgo your visits or limit them to what is acceptable to you. Learning to say no is so important for your mental health in general.

Don’t forget to breathe

We often take breathing for granted because of how simple and natural it is. Yet, breathing consciously is one of the most powerful tools we have. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress naturally while calming your brain and relaxing your body.

Takeaway – The holidays are often a time when we focus on others. We buy gifts, cook meals and bake cookies. But, it is just as important to carve out some ‘me time’ as at the end of the day, this is the one person you get to spend the most of your life with. Don’t let the holidays be something you dread so take action to find peace and joy.