The holiday season is upon us, and many of us are already scrambling to find the perfect gifts, create a menu for our holiday meal, decorate our homes, and maintain some self-care in between. Although the holiday season is synonymous with joy, happiness, and celebration, for many people, the holiday season brings up anxiety and overwhelming feelings about their past and their present.
Many individuals I see in my practice struggle with anxiety, only exacerbated by the expectations that come along with the holidays. We are expected to find the perfect gift, create the perfect meal, and find the perfect decorations for our homes, to ensure this really is the most wonderful time of year! But what happens when it doesn’t feel that way for everyone?
How Do We Cope?
- Create your own expectations: Instead of responding to what you think you need to do for the holiday season, create your own expectations for you and your family. Use memories of traditions or create new ones to help minimize the stress of perfectionism, and do what feels perfect to you.
- Address the underlying stressor: Try to figure out what is really driving your stress. Is it the interaction with certain family members? The expense of gifts, décor, and holiday parties? What do you think is truly the underlying cause? Once you can understand where the stress comes from, you can address it head on.
- Stay organized: With daily responsibilities on top of holiday prep, it can be hard to keep it all together. Create a task list with your top priorities and schedule time to complete each task – gift buying, grocery shopping, wrapping, card writing, etc.
The holidays really can be wonderful, but managing your stress and learning to cope can be critical in making sure this holiday season is a memorable one. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the holiday stress and want to learn how to cope, feel free to reach out for a free 15-minutes consultation at 312-729-5089 or click here: http://empoweredtherapy.org/contact/ I would be glad to help you reach your goals and feel empowered to make this holiday season the best one yet.