From Halloween to New Year: Your Journey to Holiday Resilience Begins Here
What’s your biggest holiday stressor? And how do you handle it? Take the quiz! Circle the common sources of stressors during the holidays that seem to affect you. Awareness is key to management of emotional health and resilience.
Holiday stressors can vary from person to person, and are unique to your life’s challenges and circumstances. But some of the most common sources of stress during the holiday season include:
- Dang! Financial Pressure: Managing holiday expenses, such as gift purchases, decorations, travel, and hosting events, can lead to financial stress. Add on family changes, challenges and traumas and the commercialism and pressure can be daunting. (trying to create a child, changes in marriage status and a loss of a love add undue hardship)
- Time Management: What time? right? Balancing the demands of work, family, and holiday preparations can cause feelings of being overwhelmed and time-crunched. And for so many, your needs and self-care get tossed aside.
- Family Dynamics: Interactions with family members, including strained relationships aka ex’s or unresolved conflicts, can cause stress during holiday gatherings. When in a high stress life experience, the pressure is mounting to be all things to all people.
- Loneliness: For those who are alone during the holidays, feelings of isolation and loneliness can be particularly challenging. But, loneliness isn’t just felt when you’re living alone, there is loneliness in trying to conceive, being alone on holidays because of a divorce and just plain sadness.
- Travel Delays: Traveling during the holiday season (work and holiday travel) often involves congested airports, traffic, and potential delays, adding stress to holiday plans. And alterations due to other people’s behavior and situations.
- Expectations and Perfectionism. The pressure to create a “perfect” holiday experience, including the perfect meal and decorations, can lead to unrealistic expectations and stress.
- Grief and Loss. For those who have lost loved ones, the holidays can be a painful reminder of their absence. Simply, just a heartbreaking stinky time.
- Social Obligations: A packed social calendar with numerous events and commitments can be overwhelming. Are you overbooked and under-supported?
- Health and Well-being: Overindulging in holiday foods and alcohol, along with disrupted routines, can lead to physical and emotional stress. If not for you, then others close to you! Doesn’t it feel like sickness heightens during the holidays?
- Gift-Giving Pressure. Selecting the right gifts, meeting expectations, and concerns about gift affordability can be stressful. And a never ending list that keeps growing!!!
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The reduced daylight hours during the winter months can contribute to symptoms of depression for some individuals. (Darkness at 4:00pm est is so trying and makes me SAD! )
- Work-Related Stress: Balancing work responsibilities and commitments during the holiday season can be challenging, especially for those in high-stress jobs and family issues. If your job requires end-of-year deadlines, how do you cope?
- Family member’s schedule changes. If your partner works a job affected by the holidays, life routines are altered and for parents, managing schedules during the holidays can be challenging. (Fertility treatments during the holiday are exclusionary harsh and also divorced parents managing the Parenting plan
Recognizing these common sources of holiday stress is essential to take steps to minimize stress and prioritize self-care during the festive season. It’s important to become aware of what are your stress triggers and to reach out to create a plan to manage them. Let’s work together to use some of my proven strategies, guidance and resources to help you navigate from October to January!