Find Your Calm

Relax…It’s the holidays!
If you feel like the joy of the holiday season is too often displaced by stress and sadness, you’re not alone. An American Psychological Association survey suggests that nearly two-fifths of Americans feel their stress levels increase around the holidays. While it’s difficult to completely avoid holiday stress, there are ways to reduce its impact. Here are a few ways to chase away holiday anxiety.

Keep your spending in check. A study by Principal Financial Group found that more than half of survey respondents said they feel stress caused by holiday spending. By managing your budget, you might be able to manage your anxiety.

Share the burden. Another American Psychological Association study found that women bear a bigger share of the holiday stress burden (44% of women reported feeling stressed, while only 31% of men did), probably because they tend to share a bigger portion of holiday responsibilities. Communicating more about sharing responsibilities for shopping, cooking, cleaning, and entertaining should ease the stress for both genders.

Be realistic. Sometimes our stress comes from expecting too much from the holidays…too much joy, too much picture-perfect family time, too much warm-and-fuzzy. Let go of images of perfection and enjoy the moments you have.

Say no. Around the holidays, it’s easy to try to do everything: attend every party, see every friend, and go to every special event. The result? We have too little time to do anything else. Learn to say no to a few things so you can get more out of the things you do.

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