Holiday stress causes turmoil for so many people. The demands of the season are often intense. The problem is that the season only comes around once a year and very few of us take the time to think ahead during the off-season to come up with concrete strategies for dealing with the extra demands, both physical and emotional, which are typical of this time of the year. Most of us tend to be far more reactive than proactive and living in crisis-response mode is often the normal way of doing things.
While, we have all had to deal with holiday stress, the situation is far more difficult for some than for others. A lifetime of built up bad holiday memories only serves to make it worse with each passing year.
For many, much of the problem relates to family, because no matter which traditions you follow, holiday time tends to have us getting together with family and sometimes these people can be very toxic. During the year, we avoid these people, but when the holidays come knocking, we tend to feel the need to have these people in our lives, even if it’s only for a short time.
Some people take advantage of the holidays and use these types of special events as an excuse to commit some atrocity against family members and friends, by whom they feel wronged. This only makes the matter worse, of course.
However, for most of us, holiday stress is simply the hustle and bustle of the decorating, shopping, entertaining and visiting that causes all the problems.
Sometimes, this type of stress has its roots in negative childhood memories, from which we seem to have never recovered. Whatever the cause, learning some coping skills or problem solving skills will go a long way toward fixing the problem.
Sometimes, just breaking the rules will be enough to get rid of the stress. There are no laws to say that we have to do things the same way that your parents always did. Why not develop some new rituals and traditions to make the holidays special for you.
Keeping our head on straight about traditions is a major step in better managing the holidays and all the associated stress. I call this festival wellness and achieving and maintaining festival wellness is a choice you can make for your life. It’s different for every one of us, but it can make or break an enjoyable holiday season. Why don’t you try something new and exciting this year? Seasons greetings!