How To Overcome Feelings Of Stress This Holiday Season
Why do we celebrate Christmas? Sometimes all the stress, hustle, and bustle can distract us from the true meaning of Christmas, which is celebrating hope and light. Some of us may not feel like we have much hope and light. Maybe there’s too much to do, you’re feeling extra financial pressure, or you’re grieving the absence of a loved one or estranged family member. There is no denying that the Christmas season isn’t jolly for everyone.
Here are some things that can help with the stress that may come with this holiday.
Give Yourself Grace & Have Realistic Expectations
You don’t have to say yes to every event or Christmas party. You don’t have to buy the most expensive toys or the most coveted technology devices. Your house doesn’t need to look like an “Instagram-perfect-winter-wonderland.”
Allow yourself to be human, do only what you feel comfortable with, and give yourself grace if you feel like you’re not living up to your expectations. Ask yourself why you have those expectations in the first place. Are they realistic? Healthy? Can you adjust and still feel good about the holiday season?
Focus On Giving To Others
We can spread the hope and light that we need to others. After spreading some goodness, we may also find ourselves feeling better. Did you know that giving to others can actually improve your physical and mental health? Studies show that giving and generosity can help lower blood pressure, increase self-esteem, lower feelings of depression, lower stress levels, and increase feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the quote from the movie Elf, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Even though it’s a silly movie, there’s truth to that quote. Maybe you’re not comfortable singing, but you can still spread Christmas cheer (hope and light) in other ways. Maybe that looks like this:
- Volunteering at a local charity.
- Cooking a meal for a single parent or family in need. If you can’t cook, order food online and have it sent to their front door!
- Shoveling snow off your elderly neighbor’s driveway and sidewalk.
- Buying presents for families who can’t afford them.
- Telling someone you’re thinking about and praying for them if you know the holidays are a tough time for them.
Even if you try giving yourself grace and giving to others but still find yourself feeling stressed or down during this season, reach out to Crosswinds Counseling to request an appointment. It’s okay if you’re struggling. We are here to help you find hope and light.