Managing Holiday Stress

Stress is often always present during holiday seasons. During Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving and other holidays, people become more stressed. This should actually not be the case. There are many pressures distinctive to holidays. For one, weather affects everyday activities. It makes it hard for people to move around. Often, it makes people physically uncomfortable as well. These are but minor everyday stresses, though. The idea that you need to buy presents for some people, especially people you rather not give gifts, can already cause stress. This is even more so, if you are on a very tight budget. Most of the time, the holiday season is associated with expenses; not to mention the crowded malls and stores, heavy traffic and lack of parking spaces. All these can lead to stress.

Holiday season stress is no different from the common everyday stress. Pressures at work such as meeting the deadlines, health concerns, decision making can all result to stress. Financial problems are one of the top stressors on the list.

Because holiday stress is similar to everyday stress, the same treatment for everyday stress can be used to relieve holiday season stress. Be objective with what needs to be solved. Things that you cannot do anything about should just be left as is without guilt on your part that you were not able to solve it. Set a realistic view about the whole issue.

Deal with the "I must" and "I can’t" issue. Evaluate the situation if you really "must" do something about it. Must you really buy everyone a present? During Christmas season, you can actually suggest exchanging gifts so you won’t have to spend so much buying everyone a gift. Fewer commitments translate to less or no stress. You do not have to worry about budgeting your money just to buy everyone gifts.

After you deal with the "I must" concern, move on to the "I can’t" concern. Think of what is not possible for you to do. Now, if those things are very necessary to be solved, try looking for alternatives. Say, for example, you do not have time anymore to buy gifts for Christmas, instead of pressuring yourself to find your way out of your busy schedule, you can actually just shop online. This is the most effective way to do it since you won’t have to spend time going to the mall and scanning stores for good buys. Searching online won't require so much time. There are many gift suggestions you'll find online. In no time, you are already done buying all the gifts.

Some people start buying gifts as early as September. If you do not find this a good idea, you can at least start planning ahead. You can list down people you want to give gifts and collect information as to what these people want to receive on Christmas. If you think you will have a hard time budgeting your money to buy all the gifts, you had better start saving ahead of time. Then, work within your budget. Do not let unnecessary guilt affect you. Do not spend more if you are giving the gift to someone you don’t like but so happened to be your exchange gift partner. Be practical.

Holidays have set schedules. There is a lot of time to plan ahead. We can actually avoid pressures and unnecessary hassles by starting early in preparing for a holiday celebration. Stress should not hinder you from enjoying the holidays. Spare yourself from stress.