How to Survive the Holidays

The holidays are a wonderful time of year. However, as enjoyable as the holidays are, they are often a stressful time of the year. Many of us work, go to school, and have family obligations. Moreover, making time for shopping, spending time with family, going to work, and over spending can often accumulate and add stress that we do not need. Stress adds up as the demands slowly creep their way into our lives as the holidays fast approach. From making time to see family, entertaining, parties, cooking, gift wrapping and family drama, these eventually take a toll on all of us and contribute to anxiety, depression and stress, ultimately making us dread the holidays. However, there are a few ways that we can diminish our stress, so we can enjoy the holidays for what they are, time off and to be spend with those we cherish most. Here are a few tips, to get you through the holidays and to enjoy them fully as they only come once a year.

Pick your Battles!

The holidays are often times that bring up old conflicts and relationship patterns. Seeing family members that we have unresolved issues with, the same old conversation with parents, sibling rivalry, trying to please everyone can be really stressful and draining. Pick your battles. Ask yourself ‘are the holidays the time I want to be having this conversation, this conflict, this dread?’ ‘Is it going to change any of this old stuff’? Holidays don’t have to be the time to rehash old wounds. Instead use this time to invest in the holiday season that you want. What are the fun memories and the good times to share with loved ones? How can you make this holiday season more enjoyable for you and by extension your family? Start a new tradition, a fun activity, a gift giving game. And lots of deep breathing to get you through the tough patches.

Budget, Budget, Budget!

Over spending is a problem many of us have during the holidays. We want to shower and spoil our loved ones with gifts, however this often leads to accumulating debt, and at the end of the month we get hit with a huge credit card bill. Make a budget and stick to it! Creating a budget of the amount you will spend on each person and sticking to it will dramatically decrease your stress. Be realistic, and stay within you means. Often we get carried away, thinking the holidays only come once a year and we over spend. Sticking to a budget ensures that you stay within your means and don’t over spend. This can be tricky, as often family and significant others purchase elaborate gifts, and we often we just can’t compete. Communicate with your loved ones, and set a spending cap. This ensures that everyone spends within his or her means, and no one feels left out.

Don’t overcrowd your schedule!

The holidays are often a demanding time, often requiring various trips to see different family members and friends. Not only can this be costly, but also its time demanding and sometimes we just can’t fit all the parties, social gatherings and big family dinners into our schedules. Take a breather, be realistic and make your plans according to the time you have. Communicate with your friends and family that you may not have time to see them all. Compromise, if you cannot see a certain friend or family member, make time for them during the next holiday, or see them when the holidays are over and time permits. Express your feelings, and that it may not be feasible to fit everything into your schedule. It is important to enjoy yourself and the holidays, not to overwhelm and stress yourself.

Relax and take time for yourself!

Its always important to take time out of your busy schedule to relax and enjoy yourself. Take time for yourself, the holidays can be relaxing and enjoy time off. Often this does not happen with all the demands from our daily lives so finding the time may be difficult. Self-care is important, which includes caring for your mind and body. This means finding time to get adequate sleep, eating right and getting outside and enjoy the fresh winter air! So take a day or two for yourself, do something you enjoy, like read a book, take a walk, volunteer, anything that helps you relax and get ready for the holiday splendor and madness! This will allow you to feel refreshed and prepared for the upcoming festivities, ensuring you will enjoy them as they come.

Lastly, sometimes despite out greatest efforts, we still feel overwhelmed and stressed. This is what we are here for, to help you cope and manage your time and stress, to ensure you live life to its fullest. Free from feelings of depression, anxiety and anger. So if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed from the holiday madness, come in and see one of our professionals, we are here to ensure your well-being. Contact us today if you struggle during the holiday season at 514-758-7792 or info@epcenter.ca.

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