Managing Holiday Stress

Stress can suck all of the joy out of your holiday season. You may not be able to avoid every stressful situation, but you can learn some tricks for preventing and managing holiday stress.

Forget Perfection

Whether you are planning an elaborate meal or just trying to wrap presents, don’t expect the results to be perfect. Most people won’t care if something isn’t perfect, and a major disaster will probably turn into a fun family story in the years to come.

If you have to deal with someone who is really fussy about details, treat their complaints as an offer to take over the task. Hand the job over and thank them for lightening your load.

Ask for Help

If you are getting overwhelmed, ask for help. Learn to delegate tasks. Even guests can help out, and it may make things less stressful for them too. There is nothing worse than sitting around with nothing to do watching your host run around in a flurry. Working together can be a great way to get to know a new in-law or reconnect with someone you haven’t spent time with lately.

Take a Break

Know when to take a break and get some peace. Something as simple as a 10-minute walk can calm frazzled nerves and give you a fresh perspective on the situation.

Avoid Toxic People

If you have a really difficult relative, make plans that do not require you to spend time with them, that limit your exposure to them, or that can at least minimize the impact on you. If you must visit someone who really stresses you out, make sure you can leave when you need to. It can also help to have someone with you for support. Always remember that you do not have to spend time with someone who is abusive or routinely hostile toward you, no matter how your family feels about it.

Choose Your Traditions

The holidays are supposed to be fun. You do not have to keep doing something that you dread, just because it is what you and your family have always done. Keep the traditions you enjoy and create new ones that you love. Let go of the rest. Chances are you are not the only one who is ready to give it up.

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