Its not always easy to reduce stress during the holidays.
You’ve heard the term “Hallmark holiday,” which is used to describe holidays that exist primarily for commercial gain.
These holidays include Sweetest Day, Grandparent’s Day, Boss’s Day, Secretary’s Day and even Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, this trend has followed for other holidays. That’s why learning to reduce stress during the holidays is a MUST for many women.
With the winter holidays just around the corner, you can imagine what this year will bring. Most people become submerged in gifts, money, entertainment and status.
Multiple Sources of Holiday Stress & How to Reduce Stress During the Holidays
When you combine all of these factors into one, you have a holiday season that’s filled with stress. Figuring out how to reduce stress during the holidays is not always easy.
No matter how hard you try, the commercial aspect of the holidays is at the root of it all. Think about your typical holiday season.
The commercials start in early November, and you’ll find your kids begging for everything they see on TV.
When you go into any store, the toys are marketed appropriately, which means your kids will be begging here, too. Before you know it, the season is overshadowed by material things instead of the spirit of the holiday.
You have to deal with the commercial aspects of the holiday, PLUS also you’re dealing with unique sources of stress during the holidays that make you more tired and irritable.
Many people have family and friends who come to stay with them over the holidays.
That means you’ll have extra demands of cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. But that’s not all. You may have to disturb your family’s sleeping arrangements too. Not being able to retreat to the privacy of your home means you can’t de-stress.
Stacking Up to Others
Furthermore, the money challenges that come along with the holidays place immense strain on today’s families.
You have gifts to buy, guests to entertain and a holiday meal to serve.
And as much as you would like to set budget for those you buy for, the holidays can quickly become a numbers-game.
It’s not uncommon for people to seek approval over their gift. As humans, it’s hard not to want to compete with over-the-top gifts; after all, you don’t want to come across as being “cheap.”
So people tend to overspend and buy bigger gifts so they don’t feel inadequate. This same frame of mind carries throughout the entire holiday.
It’s not just gifts, but the food your serve, the dress you wear to your holiday work party or the car you arrive in.
These are all factors that become increasingly important during this time of the year. Why? Because people often want to show off their comfortable lifestyle to friends and family, even if it doesn’t exist.
Even if you’re not the type of person to start this display, it’s hard not to want to join in. Peer pressure; it exists even within adults.
It’s hard to escape the money-making elements of the holidays when you’re being drowned in them.
And while you can try your hardest to keep the true meaning of the holidays in focus, you can’t control your spouse and your children.
If your husband becomes centered on buying big gifts, impressing the neighbors with extreme light shows and staging a holiday vacation for this year’s greeting cards, guess what? Your children will likely follow in suit.
Finding the True Spirit of the Holidays
Nevertheless, the spirit of the holidays comes from the home.
Only YOU can teach your family how you want the holidays to be experienced, and you must take pride in your practices. You shouldn’t feel less significant just because you serve a humble meal or come with fewer gifts.
When others see that you’re completely content in the true spirit of the holidays, they won’t feel a need to compete with you. And…more importantly, you won’t feel a need to seek their approval.
Surprisingly, much of the competition that comes from spending money during the holidays can be erased if we focus on the true meaning of the holidays.
No matter what winter holiday you celebrate the core values of the occasion should center on family, health and well-being.
This time of the year forces you to think about your experiences throughout the year and how they’ve shaped you into a better person.
It also gives you time to reconnect with friends and family you may have lost touch with or an opportunity to make new friends along the way.
Appreciation. Love. Respect. These are all things that can be found in the spirit of the holidays.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
It can be difficult to look past the profitable ends to the holidays when we’re being continually marketed to.
That’s why it’s important to sit down with your spouse and discuss what parts of the holiday you want your children to pass down to their own children.
Remember, actions are the best way to enhance what you preach.
If you want your family to learn about being thankful, volunteer your time to a homeless shelter, or food bank, and carry on the true meaning of the holidays for your family and those around you.