In a recent article published by allonehealth.com, “Holiday stress statistics show that up to 69 percent of people are stressed by the feeling of having a ‘lack of time,’ 69 percent are stressed by perceiving a ‘lack of money,’ and 51 percent are stressed out about the ‘pressure to give or get gifts.’” It makes you wonder if saying no to holiday stress is even possible for most of us!
Was it always like this? End-of-the-year responsibilities like home organizing and yard cleanups, getting holiday lights up before frostbite season, shopping for gifts on lunch hour, and finding new, better hiding places for the kids’ Christmas presents, are nothing new. But let’s face it, in the internet age, the holiday stress starts long before Thanksgiving. Now, we’re looking at packed calendars and miles-long to-do lists that run from October to New Year’s.
Here’s a quick list of holiday stressors, and tips for dealing with them:
Long lines at the mall:
Let’s face it, a crowded mall can turn any Christmas shopping experience from joyful to jarring. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy fighting for parking spaces, standing up to line cutters at checkout or busting down doors to grab a deal on the hottest toys, then head on over to Amazon or your favorite retail dot-com instead. The shipping cost is well worth the time, gas money and aggravation saved. And remember, online retailers are more apt to have a broader, more varied selection that caters to different tastes than brick and mortar retailers are able to reasonably stock and plus there are probably more sizes to choose from!
Waiting forever to see Santa:
Sure, every mom must have the obligatory Mall Santa photo featuring their youngest child screaming on the old bearded man’s lap. But it may be worth looking into some lesser-known Santa Claus photo opps. Rural areas often have farms that go all-out for Christmas, and Santa and/or a special reindeer visit may just be part of the fun. Some smaller, less busy shopping centers also use the opportunity to offer Santa photos to draw in customers. You could also start your own tradition of family Christmas photos using your own holiday props.
Elf on the Shelf:
Here’s a cute and adorable guy who’s added considerable pressure for busy parents at Christmas time. Sure, those photos of the Elf toilet papering people’s Christmas trees are hilarious and all. But they’re way better on someone else’s Facebook page. It’s not too late to ban holiday elves from your home. You can always tell your kids that the Elf was so impressed with their behavior that he decided it wasn’t necessary to keep that close of an eye on them;)
Your drained bank account:
If the holidays leave you financially strapped, why not do things differently this year. Be honest about your gift expectations when making holiday plans with family and friends. You can have a “no gifts” policy at the office, kids-only gift-giving at the yearly Christmas party with family, or do a $10 and under grab bag to keep things thrifty.
These are just a few of the many reasons we tend to stress ourselves out during the holidays. This year, you have permission to take a stand against holiday stress! Get back to making holidays the time of peace, joy and togetherness that they were meant to be.