It’s that time of year again! Are you beginning to get that “bah humbug” feeling? Are you dreading the family gatherings, all the cooking, the huge crowds at department stores, etc., etc.? I bet you are wondering how can you feel this way at such a joyous time of the year, right? Well first of all let me reassure you that what you are feeling is quite normal!
Holidays cause so much stress because we get caught up in the activities and forget all about the actual reason for the season. We over extend our time, our money and most of all we over extend ourselves. We get so stressed out and feel blue because many of us may feel that this time of the year should be picture perfect when in actuality isn’t. So sometimes we are the ones who actually set ourselves up for the big let down. The holiday season can also be depressing because it brings back memories of loved-ones who have passed on. And what about the state of our economy? Many people have lost jobs, homes, and may not have money to participate in holiday activities, not to mention how their spirits have been affected through such trying times. According to Mental Health America, holidays are depressing for some people because they may see a reflection of their past failures, are lonely and anxious about the uncertainty of the future.
Minimizing holiday stress
- be realistic-take care of yourself first, set realistic goals, and keep your expectations within your budget
- don’t spend money you don’t have-credit card debt will over extend your budget as well as your mood when you get the bill
- be diet conscious-don’t over indulge in eating foods that adversely affect your health, exercise daily
- keep a sense of humor-don’t sweat the small stuff, laugh and enjoy the remembrance of good times
- share the responsibility-if the holiday dinner is at your place, have family members and friends bring a dish to save you time and stress
Reaching out during the holiday season
Holidays are supposed to be about caring, not stressing out. The elderly are often victims of depression due to loneliness, not feeling part of our society due to their age, etc They truly suffer with depression deeply during the holiday season. Reaching out to them doesn’t have to be expensive. Just taking the time to talk with them makes them feel hopeful and worthwhile. It will also make you feel good about yourself, knowing you have made a difference in their sense of belonging.
With the financial status of our economy, the main goal is to keep your head above water. Why over spend now and suffer the consequences after the 1st of the year? Don’t set yourself up for the big let down! Keep what’s really important focused. Don’t get caught up in the activities of the holidays and forget the reason for the season! Enjoy your family and friends without over extending your budget and time. And remember, a holiday dinner with family and friends is priceless, far outweighing monetary gifts.