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Not So Happy Holidays: Best Tips For Managing Holiday Stress and Holiday Depression

Updated on November 22, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year or is it?

The Holiday season is happy for some but not so happy for others. This time of year focuses on family and loved ones but holiday depression and stress are also part of the annual festivities for many people and that can make the season hard to handle.

You may find yourself thrown into situations where there are a lot of people that you may not want to associate with or ones that cause you hard feelings. Maybe this time of year reminds you of loved ones that are no longer part of your holiday celebration. Or you may be saddened with loneliness as you see others enjoying the fun of the holiday season,

Holiday stress and.or holiday depression can be managed if you take time out to focus on the problem and figure out some solutions.

Managing Holiday Stress
Managing Holiday Stress | Source

Overwhelmed With Holiday To Do's

Don't let your holiday to do list control your enjoyment of the holiday season. I have found over the years that children don't remember the gifts they receive but they do remember the being together and the little traditions that make the holidays special.

Create holiday traditions for your family that are not expensive and elaborate but are centered around the family being together and having fun. Simple things such as singing Christmas carols, decorating Christmas cookies or playing holiday themed games will make for a memorable holiday,

The holiday season doesn't have to be filled with expensive presents, huge parties and day after day of activities to me enjoyable. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Family Holiday Time
Family Holiday Time | Source

The Holiday Family

Holiday gatherings tend to bring you together with family that you may not get along with. In order to reduce the stress that may result, limit the time you spend with people you may not want to be with.

Separate yourself from the people who cause you stress. You can either set yourself apart from those people or limit the time you spend with them.

People tend to drink more around the holidays and many times that causes people to say things they don't normally say. Limiting alcohol in family gatherings may cause less problems.

Overspending The Holidays
Overspending The Holidays | Source

Holiday Money Troubles

What to do if you don't have the money to spend on gift buying. Focus on the togetherness theme of the holidays. Love is not measured by the quantity of gifts you give or even if you give at all.

There are plenty of things you can do to replace expensive gifts. Some suggestions are:

  • Create a recipe book of your favorite recipes.
  • Donate your time to a local charity in someones name.
  • Offer your time to help someone as your gift.
  • Hand made gifts always show how much you care.
  • Create pretty jars filled with ingredients for a favorite cookie recipe.
  • Bake or make gifts of candy or baked good.

I'm sure you can think of many creative ideas for gifts if you think about it but remember the important thing is the time you share together at the holidays.

Missing Deceased Loved Ones

It is pretty hard to celebrate when you are missing loved ones that have died. Especially during the holiday season, those that are not present are missed all the more.

As hard as it may seem it is better to talk about the missing people then avoid the issue. It helps very much to talk about the people you miss and share special memories that you may have. Talk about times you shared and the fun holiday times you remember and miss.

I'm So Lonely

When you don't have a lot of family and friends, the holiday season seems to emphasize the fact. Try to find places and do things where you may not feel so alone. Attend religious services or visit community events that celebrate the holidays.

There are a lot of people who are alone at the holidays and if you spend some time doing things you may meet new friends.

Divorced Holidays

When divorce separates families, it causes change but that changes does not have to ruin the holidays.

You can create new traditions to replace old ones and remember to be flexible because things won't be the same. Not to say that change is bad, but don't focus on the changes instead focus on new beginnings. You will find with time that your holidays will once again be filled with joy.

Reducing Holiday Stress Tips

7 Quick Holiday Stress Busters To Help You Cope With The Holiday Blues

  1. Delegate holiday tasks. Don't attempt to do everything yourself. If everyone chips in, it will take the pressure off and bring about a feeling of holiday team work and togetherness.
  2. Take some time for yourself during the holiday season. Fifteen minutes here and there for you to clear your head has a surprisingly calming effect on your stress levels.
  3. Plan ahead to prevent last minute stress that the holidays can bring. When you plan time for things you need to get done, it will give you a clearer picture of your holiday season.
  4. Set a budget for your holiday season spending and stick to the budget. Write everything down that you plan to spend to make the holidays happy for your family. Include not only gift shopping money but money you spend on extra food, decorations and even clothing for the holidays. This way you are aware of the big picture of your holiday budget and it will not cause extra stress. If you see you are spending too much you can adjust your budget accordingly.
  5. Try to eat healthy and get plenty of rest. I know it is a huge time for over eating but try not to over do it too much. You will feel better for it and getting extra sleep will save you from being exhausted.
  6. Enjoy the special moments. Every little thing you do around the holidays can be a memory that lasts a life time. Take the time to enjoy and celebrate the little things.
  7. Be realistic about the holidays. The holidays are not always the perfect representation of what you think the holidays are supposed to be. Over the years, things change and people change which result in changing traditions. Learn to accept the holidays for what they are...a time to be together with family and friends.


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