‘Tis the Season: Helpful Hacks to Manage Holiday Stress
| 3 min read
- Stressful Situation: Shopping ‘til You Drop
Finding the perfect gift for every family member and loved one can be a strenuous, time-consuming process. Hours spent amongst crowds moving from store to store can do a number on both your physical and mental health.
What to do: It’s fun to surprise people, but not if it comes at the expense of your sanity. Next, be sure to do your research. With online shopping purchases set to increase by more than 13 percent this year, chances are you can find the perfect gift without even leaving your house. Also, try not to procrastinate—that will only make you feel more frantic. Take a few evenings early this month make a list and buy the majority of your gifts and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed. Remember, the holidays are not about gifts, so keep everything in perspective.
- Stressful Situation: Taking Planes, Trains and Automobiles
2016 holiday travel is set to be one of the busiest seasons to date. An estimated 48.7 million Americans traveled during Thanksgiving week alone, meaning many of us will hit the road at some point before the end of the year. Busy airports and roads equal more crowds, delays and traffic, which can be frustrating and exhausting.
What to do: Try to build in plenty of extra time so you aren’t nervous about missing your flight or getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. And equipping yourself and your family with comforting items (a favorite blanket or pair of slippers) and activities will result in a more peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. You might even want to download a meditation app so you can really tune out.
- Stressful Situation: Family Dynamics
It’s always nice to see relatives, but varying viewpoints on topics like politics and current events can create a high-stress environment.
What to do: Purposefully keeping your conversations to personal one-on-one updates and anecdotes, versus sensitive subjects like politics, allows for a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Should someone else initiate an uncomfortable conversation, politely and confidently let them know you’d like to talk about something else and shift to a neutral topic (“Are we going to see a white Christmas this year?”).