As we approach the holidays, we can’t help but feel stressed out as we try to squeeze everything that’s in our do-list into a 24-hour day. Stress levels are higher during the holidays, all because we have to operate on deadlines most of the time. There is shopping to be done and there are tons of preparations needed to organize the traditional family get together. We’re hardly done with Thanksgiving and here we are, already fretting about our Christmas shopping and often complaining that we just don’t have the time to do everything.A family gathering during the holidays is supposed to be a time of fun. Don’t we all wish that this is always the case? When we were children, most of us would look forward to this time of the year, anticipating to receive our favorite Christmas presents.Oftentimes, holidays become the ultimate stress factor and the sad thing is we deal with it every year! Family relationships can be quite complicated – there may be issues that never get settled with family members whom you are most likely to meet again during the holiday get togethers.
To top it all, for most women, especially, preparing for the holidays is not the only thing you think of – you’re still in charge of so many things at home or at the office. No wonder that most people will delay preparing for the holidays as much as they could, because they look at it with dread and even worse, anxiety.But remember, you don’t have to live through the holidays feeling out of control. There are ways you can de-stress during the holidays and prevent anxiety from taking over your life.Here are five ways you can avoid getting holiday anxiety:1. Don’t be too much of a perfectionist. Forget about the perfect table setting, the perfect Christmas present, the perfect pictures we’ve all painted in our minds about families and holidays. Do only what you can manage and enjoy what you can come up with.2. If it’s a family member who’s stressing you out, do not expect that holidays are always the perfect time for reconciliation. Holiday get togethers are supposed to be happy events. Reconciliations almost always include confrontations which may dig up old wounds, and may just make your celebration even more unpleasant. You would usually feel when the time is right, and if it doesn’t feel like it is during the family get together, then don’t push it.3. Simplify your celebrations as much as you can without sacrificing the holiday spirit. Maybe this year, you can have a shorter time at the holiday party, instead of staying all night. Make your Christmas gift list simple also. Try not to overspend nor overuse your credit cards for gift purchases.4. Plan your celebrations ahead of time. Divide what looks like an enormous task to small, doable steps and congratulate yourself every time you finish one step and you get closer to your goal.
5. Learn to say “no” to some invitations or commitments. Nothing can stress you up even more than too many late nights spent partying. You don’t just lose sleep, but you also tend to gain weight with all the party food and drinks.Sometimes we just do things during the holiday season just to keep up a tradition. Traditions should be kept a part of family life, because they serve as a connection between then and now. However, if they get to be too much that traditions are causing you anxiety and making you unhappy, then it is time to reexamine what traditions can you keep, and what are those you would just have to let go.Holidays are meant to be enjoyed! Make the most of your holiday celebrations with family and friends by minimizing anxiety causing factors and focusing more on what really matters – fun!
Bethany Henshaw is a life coach and the author of the eBook “Anxiety Success.” She has been helping many people overcome social phobia [web: anxietysuccess .com] through natural means.