5 Ways To Combat Holiday Stress

The Holidays can be so stressful when you're an adult. You have every single pressure and responsibility that has been around all year long, but now there are added expectations on your plate. Buying gifts, going to parties, decorating, traveling, etc.

No wonder we all get stressed out! It's a little sad, isn't it? Something that used to bring most of us so much joy has dwindled out and faded into a mere obligation - a spot on the end of our calendar that promises pressure for all of us!

But, dear friends, I am telling you - you are not stuck! You absolutely can find holiday cheer and joy in spite of all of this stress! Here are 5 ways you can start to do that:

1. Refocus

Stop for just 10 minutes and list a few things that you do enjoy about the holidays. Is it Christmas music? Is it a few days off from work? Is it the joy you get when you see your family open up their gifts? Whatever it is, make those things your FOCUS! Remind yourself of them frequently! Take this proactive step to avoid forgetting why you're doing your Christmas shopping in the first place.

Feeling that spark of joy doesn't always happen naturally. You have to remind yourself! Don't lose heart about this. It is completely normal.

2. Identify The Problems

One of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, has spoken about how helpful "identifying the problem" has been in her life, and I think it's genius! Obnoxiously simple, but so effective.

When you are stressing about your added holiday obligations, stop and find the real reason why.

The holiday shopping isn't the real thing that is stressing you out. It's the money you'll have to spend. Or the time you'll have to take. Or the worry about whether someone will like your gift. Etc. Once you identify the true problem, you can find a solution! It doesn't do us any good to have a vague idea about what's bothering us. Find out exactly what's bothering you. Then you'll find your next steps!

3. Find someone to help you enjoy the holidays

This could look like someone holding you accountable to take time for some self care. Or it could look like you calling your best friend and chatting for a while, just for fun. Or it might mean spending time with that person you know who is contagiously fun and always makes you feel more cheerful. We're not meant to do things alone, so stop trying.

4. Rethink The Obligation

You might be surprised how many things we make up in our minds that aren't real. You may not actually be expected to do half of the things that you do. This is good news for us! There may be several things on your plate that aren't actually yours to take care of!

Rethink every single obligation. Is the party actually what's best for you? Do you need to buy this many gifts? Do you have to put up all of these decorations? Do you have to pull all of these extra shifts at work?

Depending on your personality, you may need someone to point these things out to you and hold you accountable to your real priorities.

5. Treat Yourself In Healthy Ways

My personal favorite is to make stovetop stuffing, because it takes 10 minutes, is reasonably healthy (hey, there's celery in there!), and it tastes like a holiday feast on a random Tuesday! There are special flavors, smells, sounds, and more that remind us of holiday cheer, so take advantage of them! You don't need to wait for "the perfect time." You might miss out if you do that. Allow yourself to stop, breath, and enjoy!

Do you find it more difficult to savor the holidays now that you are grown? Drop your answer in the comments!