Holiday Stress: Common Sources

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holiday_stressThe holiday season is here, and with the holiday season comes a lot of extra stress. There are many additional demands placed on you, and these additional stressors can quickly become overwhelming.

The good news is that there are a lot of ways to cope with holiday stress so that you can actually enjoy the celebrations, keep healthy, and enter the new calendar year with a sense of joy, accomplishment, and positive anticipation. For the next few weeks we will be blogging about ways to cope with holiday stress. Today's blog is focused on some common sources of holiday stress and pressure:
  • Time: How will you find the time to prepare for and engage in all the things needing to be done? We feel the pressures of time acutely, especially when we think we don't have "enough" time. What and when does something have to be done? “If there were only 5 more hours in the day…”
  • Finances: Finances are increasingly a concern. You may, however, have been stressed about your finances for months to years, given the economic status of recent history. You might be anticipating there could be changes in your income, expenses, and reserves due to employment or lack thereof. We cannot forget that our costs are increasing and prices are higher for almost everything. The values and management of finances is often a sphere of conflict in families even in the best of times, so the holidays can create greater consternation.
  • Schedule demands: Your schedule undoubtedly involves activities to maintain your home, to support your family and friends, your community, and for your own health maintenance, like exercise, checkups, and hobbies. During the holidays, there are additional religious, school, organization, and work events. People want you to attend. You want to be involved. If your schedule has to mesh with others in your environment, (and whose doesn't?) the demands are even greater, and involve more coordination.
  • Expectations and emotional factors: Check your thinking: do you have high expectations to do everything, and to do everything perfectly? Perfection is a difficult goal – for anyone. Do you have a difficult relationship with someone which always seems to flair up around the holidays? Have you experienced a loss that is particularly painful at this time of the year? 

No matter what your stresses and their sources, we will be giving you some basic tips for coping with them. Read the next blog in the "holiday stress" series.

In the mean time, check out Coping with Stress and Teen Depression archived webinars for some general tips and suggestions.

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