“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “Tis the Season to be Jolly” are phrases we hear in movies, carols and conversations, but the holidays are also a time when stress levels, pressure, depression or conflict are at an all-time high. We can feel overwhelmed by the expectations and even become depressed during the holidays. We all know that a lack of time and money, credit card debt, and the pressure of gift giving can often contribute to stress during the holiday season. And most of us are aware of the adverse effects that stress can have on our body. With all the cooking, decorating, visiting, and gift giving, the holidays can seem more like trying to meet a high-pressure deadline than a vacation.
What if we tried these strategies to ease the stress this Christmas season?
Vacation instead of gifts
Discuss the idea of taking a short family vacation, (and it can be somewhere close by and doesn’t have to be expensive), instead of giving gifts. We have done this in our family and there are so many memories that are created. The holidays are less stressful because we are no longer trying to find the gift for our loved one that they will forget we gave to them by this time next year.
Have some fun
As you decorate the tree or bake cookies, forget all the items left on your to-do list and give yourself permission to have fun. Laughter goes a long way in the fight against stress and could be just what the doctor ordered. Maybe even find some Christmas games to play at the holidays. We have incorporated games into our family traditions and we laugh more than ever. Try the “Saran Wrap” game with Oven Mitts. Look it up online. It’s a blast and will be a hit every year. Or even try an Ornament Swap and look up the “December dice game”. You will love it, I’m sure!
Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts is exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women. What better time to turn your gadgets off than during a holiday get-together? Enjoy spending time with your family and friends without worry or distraction.
Let’s enjoy these holidays like never before with family and friends, and have less-stress and more fun.