Thanksgiving is a day to remember what you’re thankful for, enjoy time with family, and try your best to not to pull your hair out over the thought of all of the events, festivities, and projects you’ve committed yourself to over the next month. Sometimes being #blessed actually feels more like #stressed. The stress and anxiety that fills our mind every November and December isn’t all in our heads. Research shows women stress about the holidays a lot more than men do, and women have a more difficult time relaxing. There’s the turkey, the gift exchanges, the in-laws, the school plays, the office parties, the Elf on the Shelf… the triggers for our stress never end.
The biggest aggravations are lack of time, lack of money, and all the hype that comes along with the season. So, how do we manage all of that? Licensed mental health counselor Claudia Abalo sees the seasonal trend at her practice in Winter Park, FL. “ The mistake people, especially women, make during the holidays is thinking they HAVE to do it all. Women as natural nurturers want to take care of everyone else, but they forget to take care of themselves.” Claudia suggests taking time before the start of the holiday season to remind yourself you don’t have to do it all and delegate responsibilities to others. You also have to learn to manage your expectations, “Unrealistic expectations set us up for disappointment because life is not like the movies and most of the characters in our lives may not feel the way we do about the holidays. A realistic balance of expectations and reality is to come into acceptance. This means making your holiday look your own, not like a movie which is done by spending millions and to remember that people in our lives are not actors and they may not love the holidays as much as we do.”
It isn’t all holiday blues. Most people do experience comfort and joy. In fact, almost everyone who responded to the survey on holiday stress reported feeling happiness and love during the holidays.
Claudia’s Three Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season
1.) Make Lists! Lists are an important way to stay on track. Take on the smallest task first, this will give you a sense of accomplishment in a short time and give you a boost to finish other tasks on the list.
2.) Delegate! Don’t ask, tell people to help you. These holidays aren’t just for you, they are for the entire family, so everyone has to do their part. Even if you have to teach them how to do something and may take more time, it will pay off in the end by taking something off our list.
3.) Self-Care! Put yourself in TIME OUT! Take some time to read, nap, vent to friends, exercise (even taking a brisk walk). Do something you love that is not holiday related.
* visit www.wdcounseling.com to book an appointment or learn more about Claudia Abalo.
From The Tea Times: The Latest News from Houses of Windsor – November 2019