When Andy Williams sang about “the most wonderful time of the year,” he clearly left out how stressful the holidays can be
. . . and the fact that some of what he sings about actually makes the list of the five worst holiday stressors!Finances
It’s no surprise that finances top the list of the five worst holiday stressors. Even those with money can find all that spending to be overwhelming. That is even more the case for those who live paycheck to paycheck and find themselves going deeper into debt because of holiday presents, entertaining, and other holiday-related spending. A couple of great ways to remedy this is to suggest to friends and loved ones that you do a “Secret Santa” type gift exchange so that each person is only responsible for buying one present. Another option is to make presents from scratch, as that’s not only cost effective but also guarantees a unique and meaningful gift.Loneliness
Even those surrounded by friends and with plenty of parties to attend can find themselves feeling lonely
for someone during the holidays . . . be it a special someone to share the holidays with or someone that they’ve lost. You can’t help but feel nostalgic at this time of year, and it’s hard not to remember those who are no longer with you or to feel the sting of being single when everyone else seems to have a significant other. These sad feelings are a source of stress and anxiety and can make the holidays feel unbearable. A way to deal with this is to take stock of the blessings that you have and keep them in mind during the holidays. And, volunteering at the local food bank or shelter can work wonders for your loneliness and show you just how much you really do have to offer.Family
Having family around means relaxation for some and major stress for others, which is why family makes the list of the five worst holiday stressors. Between the different (and sometimes difficult) personalities of family members, to the extra noise that you’re just not used to; all that family time over the holidays can be a bit much to handle. Throw in some strained relationships and you have a recipe for a very stressful holiday. While you can’t change your family, you can make dealing with them easier by going for a walk or even just escaping to another room when it gets to be too much for you.Your Weight
Remember the days when you could eat as many holiday cookies or pieces of pecan pie as you wanted without someone poking at your belly and reminding you about your weight? Well, maybe those days never existed! The stress of weight gain over the holidays is unavoidable, because even when you make the effort not to think about it there’s always someone who jumps in to remind you. Make the conscious effort to not let it get to you too much and enjoy your holidays anyway – after all, you do have those New Year’s resolutions to implement after the first of the year! Or, you can always look for lower fat/sugar versions
of your favorite holiday treats. They’re easy to find!
Too Much to Do
Between holiday parties, family commitments, baking, and shopping; being stressed is simply a given! We all tend to spread ourselves too thin over the holidays which can lead to some major stress. To avoid a meltdown and make your holidays more enjoyable, you need to learn to say no and cut back on plans. Be realistic about how much you can commit to, and be sure to leave some time for relaxation. Make hosting a breeze by opting for potluck parties so you can cut back on the time spent in the kitchen . . . as well as on your grocery bills.