Holidays are stressful

It’s that time of year…crowds, traffic, and stress! Although there are many beautiful aspects of this season, there are also parts of the holiday season that we all likely want to avoid. Rather than allowing this stress to get you down, think about what parts of the season stress you out. I’ve heard many of the stressors from my clients—office parties, saying no to all the sweets, extended family frustrations, the crowds when shopping, financial stress, and more.

Face it, our holidays don’t often play out like a Hallmark movie. Instead, you might feel like you’re just trying to get through it. If your family’s in turmoil, Christmas is hard and awkward. The first step is to recognize the situation at hand and do your best. What does this mean? Give yourself the grace to give yourself an out if that decision is what will make this season bearable. If you don’t want to go to the office party, skip it. Extended family frustrations are much more difficult to navigate but many of these situations require compromise. You might have to endure your extended family but try to shorten the timeframe if you can. If you can’t, this season might not be the time to discuss dividing grandpa’s will. Put heavy discussions like that off. Financial stress is hard too. Your children might have lofty Christmas lists that are beyond your financial means. If you have financial goals, don’t let the pressure of the holiday get your sidetracked. Stick to your goals. Get creative with your gift giving. Find other non-financial ways to make the holidays special for your kids—make some fun gingerbread cookies, invent a new family tradition, make it an event to go see local holiday lights.

As for the crowds, cyber shopping is pretty amazing. Not only do you not have to leave your home, so many vendors offer free shipping this year. You don’t have to wait in long lines anymore!

If holiday stress runs deeper and you find you’re experiencing depression, contact Mending Hearts Counseling for an appointment. Based in northern Colorado (Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor), you can contact Mending Hearts Counseling at 970-545-1111.

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