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Managing Stress Over the Holidays

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With the holiday season in full swing, and its accompanying Christmas parties, gift-giving and seeing family members (that you try to avoid the rest of the year), there is an increased chance of experiencing stress. Whether it be a short-lived feeling of being panicked and overwhelmed or a long-term feeling of uneasiness and high blood pressure. With the added complexity of the Coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19), self-care and stress management are key to beat the seasonal stress during the festive time of year. 

Managing relationships

They say the most important part of the festive season is to spend time with the people you love, which in most cases is your family. Now, this would be easy if everyone had a conventional nuclear family with perfect parents and siblings, but in reality, family relationships can be difficult, complicated and stress-inducing. You may not get along with family members or feel challenged by their values and beliefs. Or it could be the opposite, you may have lost loved ones, and could be feeling added emotional stress and burden. In this instance, it is important to change your expectations for family time. This could be by managing the amount of time spent with family members at holiday parties, by attending fewer parties or spending less time at events. When you are with your family you should try to accept the differences between family members. Family members are also human after all, and often make mistakes or don’t live up to your expectations. In this case, it is important to let go of differences and focus on the positives. 

Managing Finances

The holiday season and gift-giving go hand in hand, with many people often mistaking the festive spirit for how great of gift you give and receive. With these expectations, people often experience high levels of stress, especially those who are struggling from pay-check to pay-check or those who do not have time or the budget to splurge on Christmas presents. In this instance, you may feel guilty, embarrassed and even upset about being unable to provide, but with a few helpful tips and tricks, the guilt may reside and instead be replaced with feelings of joy and merry. Set a budget for each gift receiver and be realistic about how many presents or people you can provide for. Instead of buying gifts maybe try making homemade gifts, or set a family secret Santa, to minimise the amount of money and time spent. 

A word from COPE

Seasonal stress can take over the holidays and distract you from the precious time you have with the ones you love. Try to remember the true meaning of this time of year and acknowledge your limitations. Remember to take some time out for yourself to breathe, meditate or exercise away from the stress of the holiday season. 

We wish you a stress-free, holiday and a happy new year.