by Guest Writer Jessica Scott
Does the holiday season inspire more feelings of dread than joy? Well, you’re not alone in those less-than-jolly holiday sentiments! More people are experiencing increased feelings of stress and anxiety during what is supposed to be a season of joy, so what you’re feeling is completely normal. That doesn’t mean stress and anxiety have to be the norm for every holiday season to come, especially when these simple tips can curb holiday tension.
Have an Escape Plan for Holiday Stress
Loved ones can provide support but they can also cause stress, especially during the already tense holiday season. So, if you plan on spending time with potentially worrisome family members in the next few weeks, be sure to bring your phone along and be sure to have unlimited access to data, calls, and texts. Because in the event that your loved ones really start to stress you out, you can use that unlimited access to reach out to supportive friends. You can also use unlimited data cell phone plans to download a few self-care apps to help you breathe deep and relax in times of serious tension. Being able to recenter yourself with these apps could potentially save your holiday season and being able to use those apps without worrying about overage fees on your bill could even save your budget. Since financial stress is common during the holidays, using budget apps to curb your spending on gifts can also help save you some tension into the New Year. Many of these apps even allow you to round up purchases or earn cash back when you shop online so that you can invest in your future while you shop.
Learn to Have Fun at Office Holiday Events
Another potential trigger for stress and anxiety during the holidays is dealing with added pressure at work. All of that work stress can feel even more intense when you also feel like you have to mix and mingle with co-workers and supervisors at holiday events and parties. If holiday events at your office feel more like a burden than a chance to have fun, it may be time to work on some simple self-care steps that will reduce your feelings of stress. Fostering more positive energy in your workplace will make those holiday gatherings much less of a headache, but taking better care of yourself throughout the day can also help. So, try doing a few small exercises at your desk or spend some time organizing your desk.
Another handy tip for keeping your holiday office events enjoyable is to work on saying “no” without feeling guilty or anxious. This tip can be extremely helpful when co-workers and supervisors use social events to ask for favors or help with projects. Knowing how to set boundaries can also help relieve pressure if you are abstaining from alcohol at office parties.
Take Some of The Stress Out of Holiday Travel
Planning on flying or driving to reconnect with loved ones during the holidays? To get your holiday trips off to a less stressful start, try to plan ahead as much as you can. For one, buying plane tickets and paying for other travel expenses well ahead of time can be much cheaper than waiting until the last minute, especially during the busy holiday travel season. Airlines know that people will procrastinate around holiday travel plans and ticket prices can increase by as much as $10 for every day you wait to book your own trip. Not to mention, when you book later, you may also end up with more layovers, which means more opportunities for missed connections and delayed flights. That can mean more travel stress as well, but you can reduce most travel stress by planning early and being prepared to navigate travel challenges.
When the holidays have you feeling more pressure than peace, it’s time to make some changes. Having a few healthy coping mechanisms up your sleeves can definitely take some of the stress away from family celebrations, festivities, and holiday travel. So, keep this guide handy as you make your way through this and future holiday seasons!
Photo Credit: Rawpixel
Blog Credit: Jessica Scott at Jessica@spiritfinder.org