Most holiday stress falls into three categories: relationships, finances and time. Because we often have higher expectations for this season than for other times of the year, we may overspend and overschedule – all in an attempt to create a perfect holiday. Trouble is, all this overdoing can leave us more frazzled than fulfilled. Palmetto Health Behavioral Care provides three tips to help you create a more peaceful holiday.
- Define Your Expectations
Take stock. Are your expectations for the holidays realistic? Taking a moment to reflect on this question is the first step to managing holiday stress. List on a piece of paper what you expect from yourself and your family during the holidays. Hidden within these expectations you’ll probably find your particular holiday stressors — the unique things that can cause you stress.
Under each item in the list, write down what changes you can make to prevent or reduce that stress. It’s okay to re-evaluate traditions. Perhaps you had an expectation that you should prepare the entire holiday meal from scratch, just the way mom always did it. But would anyone really mind if you purchase the dessert from the bakery? Would others be willing to bring a dish?
Another way to lighten the holiday load is to limit social events to only one day of each weekend, leaving the other for quiet and family time. Make the changes that will be most helpful to you. Let go of those unrealistic goals, such as creating the most dazzling holiday atmosphere or attending every party.
- Share Your Plans
If you’ve decided to let go of some things to make your holiday more satisfying, share your new plans with others so you are not struggling against their expectations. You may be surprised that they’re just as relieved as you are to make changes. In fact, a recent poll showed that 77 percent of people said they’d prefer a simpler holiday.
However you overhaul your holiday, the goal is to become aware of all the choices you have.
and instead focus on what truly brings you and your family happiness. Odds are, it’s not the
homemade cakes or the perfectly wrapped gifts, it’s the time to slow down and connect with one another.
Palmetto Health offers several same-day care options for minor illnesses such as UTIs. To learn more, visit PalmettoHealth.org/SameDayCare.
Beloved friends and family, beautifully wrapped gifts, and parties galore. Those are all good things, but as the old saying goes—everything in moderation.