Like most holidays, Christmas and Hanukkah evoke memories of childhood or earlier years. Holiday Stress Management! For many, these holiday spirits are all consuming. The joy of being with significant others, exchanging gifts and sharing meals makes for many people the best time of the year. The excitement and magic of Christmas universally affects young and old alike. Yet unfortunately, not everyone welcomes Christmas with open arms.

For people who are alone or associate the holidays with the loss of a loved one, this time of year is typically filled with sadness and grief. The sounds of joy from others around them seem more like crashing thunder. It would be best for people who feel depressed at this particular season to reach out to others and avoid isolating. Volunteering at a kitchen that feeds the needy would be a great way to reinforce feelings of appreciation and likely lift the darkest of spirits. At the very least, keeping busy and productive will help most people keep blues at bay to avoid a major depressive episode.

Regardless of whether you are a St. Nick or Scrooge, this holiday season is a time of positive and negative stress. With awareness and some action, it is possible to minimize the craziness.

First, it is often difficult but not impossible to avoid the holiday rush. With a little planning, the process of gift giving can be less hectic. Start your shopping as soon as you can. Make a list of family and friends you intend to buy for. It may not be possible or practical to purchase for everyone you would like so understanding this up front may lessen the guilt. Try to allot a dollar amount to each person. With these two strategies, you will not find yourself frantic at the last minute because you left someone out. Also, by budgeting you will less likely overspend which will cause a great deal of stress when holidays are over.

Choose the best hours of the day to shop to avoid the heaviest crowds. Early evening typically seems to be a good time to holiday shop. Aim to purchase multiple items from the same store to spare your energy, frustration with long lines, irritable customers and insufficient sales help.

Travel is hectic at this time of year. Choose a few events to attend to avoid spreading yourself thinly. Keeping parties or entertaining within reason will ensure meaningful quality time with those most important.

Time is the best gift of all and doesn’t have a price tag. If we view holidays as an opportunity to spend precious time amongst family and friends and place less importance on the commercial aspects, effortless joy will prevail. I can help you with your Holiday Stress Management.


Look for Part 3 , the New Year to follow.