The holiday season is always a time of great excitement, thankfulness, and (hopefully) relaxation, but there are also a variety of reasons why the most wonderful time of the year may leave some feeling stressed out.
During the holidays, it’s important to monitor your stress levels and ensure that you’re having an enjoyable and restful time with your friends and family – not leaving yourself feeling frazzled! To prepare yourself for the holidays, it’s important to understand some common seasonal stressors.
Holiday Stressor 1 – Entertaining Guests
If your house tends to be the traditional gathering spot for all your friends and family for a holiday celebration, you may find yourself in the throes of some major stress. Between preparing enough food, decorating, cleaning your rooms, and making sure everyone is having a good time, you may not have much time for yourself! If you’re the entertainer of your friend or family group, make sure to schedule some “you” time to recharge and relax.
Holiday Stressor 2 – Living Up to the Hype
Often, people feel a lot of pressure to make the holidays a super memorable experience. You may want your kids to have the perfect and magical Christmas morning. The idea of your whole family gathering around a perfectly arranged Thanksgiving dinner table may seem like a vision you want to bring to life right down to each and every tiny detail.
When trying to make these moments turn into your exact visions of perfection, you may forget to actually participate in all the fun and memory-making! Instead of being involved in the events, you may find yourself in a stressful frenzy trying to keep all the details aligned.
Holiday Stressor 3 – Dealing with Unpleasant Family Members
Sometimes the holiday season is the only time you may ever see some of your family members – and for good reason. While you may only see some of your family on occasion due to travel barriers, you may only see some family on the holidays because they’re unpleasant!
Many people have members of the family who cause them to feel stressed for a variety of reasons, and knowing that you may have to spend time around these folks can make the holiday season feel particularly stressful.
Holiday Stressor 4 – Spending Money
Between the decorations, the elaborate meals, the office parties, the gift shopping lists, and the new family outfits….the holiday season can become incredibly expensive!
People tend to feel a lot of stress around the holidays because it means they’ll be spending much more money than usual. If it’s difficult for you to save extra cash for the holidays during the year, knowing that you may face expectations to spend extra money during this time can cause tension to rise.
Holiday Stressor 5 – Experiencing Seasonal Depression
The holidays are often a bright spot to an otherwise depressing point of the year. During the holidays, many folks live in places that are much colder and gloomier. You may live in a place that experiences lots of ice and snow. On top of the colder and harsher weather, you are also facing shorter days with less sunlight.
Many people experience a phenomenon known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a period of temporary depression brought on by shorter, gloomier days with less sunlight. Typically, people who experience SAD recover when the weather warms up again and the days lengthen. However, when you’re experiencing SAD in the heart of the holiday season, it can cause a lot of extra stress on top of an already-busy time of the year.