Managing Holiday Stress
The holiday season can be a stressful time of year for many of us. Interestingly, TYFS might act as a bit of a barometer to the pressures so many families find themselves in. Very generally speaking, the number of people seeking our services often decreases during the holiday season. I think this is because of the burden of maintaining “holiday cheer” even in the face of familial crises. Listed below are some tips and ideas to try before feeling overwhelmed by the holidays.
Acknowledge your feelings. Just because it’s the holidays does not mean that feelings of sadness, grief, inadequacy, or memories of a painful childhood will disappear. It is okay to express yourself, to ask for help, to cry. Being vulnerable is such a powerful gift – it acknowledges the importance you place on that relationship and the trust you have in that person.
Strengthen social connections.
TYFS knows that strong, supportive relationships help each of us get to the place we’d like to be. You don’t have to do it alone. Accept help. Ask for help. Have your kids help. Spending time with people who care about you is a great way to alleviate stress. And, as we say to our younger clients here, “when you fill someone else’s bucket, you fill your own too.”
Reevaluate. Asking your family for help is also a great opportunity to discuss what traditions are important to you and to them. It is okay to switch things up.
Celebrate diversity. Some families celebrate one holiday, others another. What a great chance to teach open-mindedness!
Learn to say no. We don’t have to do it all. Respectfully declining invitations or asks from others (including family and children) acknowledges that more isn’t always better.
Practice gratitude. Forgive yourself too.
Of course, we can’t forget to have fun and celebrate! Simply taking the time to enjoy the holidays is something we might somehow overlook. Soak it in.