For most of us, the holidays are a time of celebration, reunions, making memories and joy. For a others, however, it can mean stressful situations. Holiday planning is something than many families deal with, and the stress resulting from it can really put a damper on a period of the year reserved for happiness. If you feel that this holiday season will be a stressful one, then read on to see what you can do to help make it easier.
What Are the Difficulties?
All families are unique, and as such, the problems each face are unique as well. These problems can, most of the time, result from stress dealing with finances and limited time to do so much. However, there are plenty more that can include:
- Having to deal with a not-so-functional family
- The pressure of having to do everything yourself within a small window of time
- Dealing with siblings or parents who will host the holiday dinner/get-together
- Time constraints in shopping for gifts or preparing a large meal
- Financial woes in dealing with how gifts and food will be paid for
- Dealing with strong emotions over family members who will not be able to attend or have passed away
What Can You Do?
Did any of the aforementioned sound familiar? If so, know that whatever you’ve gone through in the past and may experience in the future is something countless others have dealt with. What can you do to make your holiday get-together easier to deal with? We feel the following can help:
- There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed in your holiday planning. Ask your spouse or children to lend a hand with cooking or gift shopping if your hands are full.
- If you’re expecting some troublesome family members to attend your get-together, establish a few clear boundaries about what’s allowed and what isn’t. Certain topics of conversation that will not be tolerated in your home should be highlighted with everyone present. If certain activities, like alcohol drinking, are not to be permitted in your home, be sure to explain this in a non-confrontational manner.
- Many families like to go all out in celebrating the holidays, but if you feel that it’s an effort you’d rather skip to avoid stressing about, then do what you feel comfortable with. For example, many families cook specific foods during the holidays, like a turkey, but if you’d rather do something less strenuous or expensive, then do it. Or maybe your family celebrates in a very conservative way and you’d like to go all out. That’s okay too.
- It’s perfectly normal to want to save money during a period of typical overspending. Giving gifts to loved ones is a great experience, but will you be stressing out about making payments on your credit card next year? Rather than make a big purchase at a retailer, try making a gift yourself, like a candy basket, home cooked meal or coupons for special outings.
- If you’ve suffered a personal loss in the year since your last holiday celebration, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, especially in knowing that this will be the first major family get-together without him/her. We encourage you to share your feelings with others, don’t keep them bottled up. There’s a very real chance that your family may be experiencing similar emotions.
Avoid Stressing with Rice Psychology Group
Busy times can bring about a lot of emotions, and at Rice Psychology Group, we know how overwhelming life can be. Our team of licensed psychologists will do whatever it can to provide a comfortable and judgment-free atmosphere where you’ll be free to talk about whatever it is that’s troubling you. Contact us in Tampa today to schedule your free, 10-minute consultation.