5 Holiday Stress Tips So You Can Have a Joyful Holiday

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If the sound of Christmas music, crowds in the stores, or the thought of having to visit your family for dinner puts your holiday stress into overdrive, this episode is for you. 

Today I’m going to share five different ways to manage your holiday stress so you can relax a little bit more and enjoy the holidays for the joyful time it has the potential to be.

I have always absolutely hated the holidays from when I was a child. It’s one of those things I always felt like I was being forced, decorate the tree and listen to the music and it just never sat right to me. 

When I finally decided to take charge of my holiday stress and decide what felt right to me, it made the holidays more manageable. Today I’m going to share with you five ways I went about minimizing my holiday stress and guess what? I now look forward to the holiday season instead of dreading it. 

5 Holiday Stress Management Tips

Decide What the Holidays Mean for YOU

So the very first thing that has to happen for you to minimize your holiday stress is to decide for yourself, not for anybody else what the holidays mean for you. Don’t think of your family’s expectations. Don’t think about what your friends do. Think of what the holiday season means for you? 

Once you decide what the holidays mean for you, it’s then much, much easier to start to choose your own traditions. 

Decide What Traditions Make Sense to You (and Your Family)

I don’t like decorating, so I designed our tree and our decorating process so it only takes about an hour. I now look forward to it because I know it’s not going to take me a ton of time. It’s still going to look the way that I wanted to look without the time investment that a lot of other people may put into their tree.  It works for me, and makes me happy. 

So figure out what traditions make sense for you and how you want to do that tradition. Don’t just do it the same way that everybody else does for the sake of it. When you do this, your holiday stress decreases dramatically.

Prioritize and Decide on Obligations

What is the most important thing for you as far as obligations go during the holidays?  Knowing this and saying “no” to anything that isn’t what you prioritize will made a huge impact on your holiday stress.

For me, I may say no to some parties because I know that I want to spend more time with my family.  So I may not spend as much time with friends because I want to spend time with my family. 

Do what makes sense for you, and don’t be afraid to ditch an obligation if you are time-crunched and it doesn’t align with your definition of how you want to spend the holidays.  The beauty of it is, you can always change your mind the following year. Nothing is ever permanent.

Have Realistic Expectations

Try not to let your own expectations seep into other people because that’s unrealistic and it’s going to set you up for really stressed relationships going into the holiday season.

As an example, if uncle Bob every single year has the same political conversation that drives you up the walls, don’t go into the holiday dinner expecting that Uncle Bob’s not going to do it again this year. Instead, create your own strategy. Instead of sitting and listening to him, politely excuse yourself and maybe go outside and take a really quick walk, and burn off some of that food. 

Ask for Help and Help Others

Holiday stress happens in part due to all the obligations that come along with the season. There’s a lot of tasks, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If there’s something that it seems like it’s too much to handle, ask a friend, ask a family member, ask a spouse, ask your kids.  Get everybody involved in the process.

So which of these tips are you going to use to manage your holiday stress? Definitely be sure to leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. I would love to hear from you and hear additional tips and I just may feature your comment on a future episode! 

Show Transcription:

00:00 If the sound of Christmas music crowds in the stores or the thought of having to visit your family for dinner during the holidays, sends your anxiety into absolute overdrive and this episode is for you. Today I’m going to share five different ways to manage your holiday stress so you can relax a little bit more and enjoy the holidays for the joyful time. It has the potential debate,

00:28 so I’m not going to lie this right here, not me. I have always absolutely hated the holidays from when I was a child. It’s one of those things I always felt like I was being forced, decorate the tree and sing the carols and do the music and it just never sat right to me. When I finally decided to take a look at the holidays and decide what felt right to me, you know, what traditions and what activities I actually wanted to do that I could potentially enjoy. It really changed the way I started to think about them and today I’m going to share with you five ways I went about doing it and now I look forward to this holiday season instead of dreading it. Before we go ahead and get started if you enjoy motivationally and self-help content just like this, be sure to go ahead and hit subscribe.

01:15 Tap the bell so you get updated the next time a new episode airs. There’s a reason the Holly’s has a reputation that it has. It has a true potential to be a joyous and wonderful occasion shared with loved ones depending on how you look at it and what your situation is. The key thing is the less stressful your holiday season is, the more potential areas for you to actually enjoy it and not dread it. Less stress equals more memories. So today we’re going to focus on how to get that stress level down so you can actually pay attention to what’s going on in the actual moments and start to enjoy the holiday season for what it has the potential to be. Now, I know this is easier said than done. You know, for a lot of folks the holidays trigger very painful memories. Um, it can be even traumatic in a lot of instances.

02:06 The holidays also has the potential to really test your relationships. A lot of folks are spent a forced time with people that they don’t necessarily like because as that saying goes, we could choose our friends, but we can’t choose our family and the holidays. You have a tendency to spend a lot of time with your family. So that’s not easy. I get that. It also tests your relationships in that it brings to mind the people that you can’t spend time with. A lot of times families live on opposite ends of a country and it makes that absence a bit more painful in the moment, not being able to have that person with you to celebrate. And lastly, the holidays bring so many obligations and commitments. I mean, I know on my side at the very, very first week of December, I always have a minimum of three-holiday parties that are standing parties that I have to go to every single year and it adds up.

02:56 You know, the stress and the obligations do add upon how you handle them. So as I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t absolute skirt as a kid. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with the holidays and my mom loves it, right? And my mom was always the one making us decorate the tree, putting the lights up outside, doing all sorts of activities. And I never got it. And it really wasn’t until I was an adult and I learned more about my mother’s story that I understood that the reason that she loves the holidays so much is because it was something that she shared with her father and her father long passed away even before I was born. So every single year it’s an opportunity for her to remember the memories that she shared with him. And she wanted to always share those traditions with me and my brother and I, I didn’t appreciate it at the time when I was a child.

03:46 But now that I have my own child, it’s definitely brought a new point of view. So the holiday season for me. So I’m going to share with you today some mindset tricks that I did that help me better learn to manage my stress and manage my screw genus, I guess you could say, and learn how to make the holidays what works for me and not necessarily what works for memo worse for everybody else because ultimately you choose your own traditions and today we’re going to talk about exactly how to go about doing that. So the very first thing is to decide for yourself, not for anybody else. Don’t think of your family’s expectations. Don’t think about what your friends do. But what does the holiday season mean for you? It may mean something painful, you know, for example, for my mother, like I mentioned before, every year the holidays reminds her that she doesn’t have her father really kind of think.

04:40 And you know, if the holidays are not a positive time for you, try to think of why. Because getting to the root of why it is that it brings up difficult to understand memories for you, it’s going to help you deal in process with them so that you could choose different traditions moving forward. So once you decide what the holidays mean for you, it’s then much, much easier to start to choose your own traditions. So again, using my mother as an example, she decided that with her family, she wanted to share decorating the tree because that was something she did with her father and she took a lot of joy in as a child. So that became her tradition that she then passed on to us, which granted, when I was a kid, I didn’t really appreciate it because truth is, it’s up to each individual to decide what the holidays mean for them.

05:27 So for me, it’s not necessarily about the tree or about the decorations or about the presence that you get. For me, it’s about spending time with people that I love and cherish. So that by learning exactly what that meant to me, it made it easier for me to participate in traditions like my mother’s, you know, that she really, really enjoyed. Because for me it was more about getting to spend time with my mother and not necessarily about putting the ornaments on the tree were for my mother, the ornaments on the tree made her remember her father. So that’s why it was so important to her. So decide what traditions make sense to you and your family. So for me and my, I’m, you know, we put up a tree and we do it every single year, the weekend after Thanksgiving, but to make it work for me, again, I don’t like decorating.

06:17 That is not my thing. So I designed our tree and our, our process, everything that we do takes about an hour and it’s a great thing that I now look forward to because I know it’s not going to take me a ton of time. It’s still going to look the way that I wanted to look without the time investment that a lot of other people may put into their tree. And it’s just what works for me. So figure out what traditions make sense for you and how you want to do that tradition. Don’t just do it the same way that everybody else does for the sake of it. You can also prioritize from there and then decide on your obligations. What is the most important thing for you as far as obligations go during the holidays. So for me, I may say no to some parties because I know that I want to spend more time with my family, you know, as an example.

07:04 So I may not to spend as much time with friends because I want to spend time with my family. Um, some other people, here’s a great example. You know, some folks go crazy with Christmas cards that, you know, they send Christmas cards to everybody that they know in their address book. My mother as an example, she sends Christmas cards over 200 people. And truth is, that’s what makes her happy, right? She loves getting to do that because it’s a way that, especially since my mom is not on the internet, thank goodness for me, I think her every year on mother’s day for not being on Facebook, but because she’s not connected to everybody through the internet, getting to write that card as something that really brings her joy for me. It’s something that I used to dread, you know? So I got very, very clear on how much time am I willing to invest in doing holiday cards.

07:49 Do I even want to do them? There’s been some years that I didn’t do it at all. You know, for example, last year after I lost my partner, you know, last thing I wanted to do was send out Christmas cards. So don’t feel obligated that you have to do any one thing. You could change it every single year. It’s more what you feel like doing in the moment and what feels right to you. Also, with that said, release expectations on other people. So just because you like to send out holiday cards, don’t necessarily expect to get one in return or get, you know, all upset and insulted because somebody, you bring somebody a holiday cookie basket and you get nothing in return. That’s not what the holiday season is all fat, at least not to me. You know, again, you’ve got to decide what it means for you, but try not to let your own expectations seep into other people because that’s unrealistic and it’s going to set you up for really, really kind of stressed relationships going into the holiday season.

08:41 Same thing goes for when you’re, you know, interacting with family. You know, during holiday gatherings, if uncle Bob every single year has the same political conversation that drives you up the walls don’t go into the holiday dinner expecting that uncle Bob’s don’t going to do that. Instead, create your own strategy. Do I want to sit there and listen to uncle Bob do that or do I want to politely excuse myself and maybe go outside and take a really quick walk, burn off some of that food so you decide. And also again, the holidays are stressful in part because there’s a lot of obligations. There’s a lot of tasks, especially for parents that are stressed out, buying gifts for their kids. For example, everybody wants their children to have a great holiday. Definitely be sure to ask for help. You know, if there’s something that it seems like it’s too much to handle, ask a friend, ask a family member, ask a spouse, ask your kids, you know, get everybody involved in the process.

09:36 Making a home, you know, perfect for the holiday season and be any one person’s responsibility if they don’t want that responsibility. So remember that. If it’s something that the family decides as a whole is something that they want, everybody can chip in to make it happen. It doesn’t just have to be one person’s sole responsibility. All right, so those were my five tips. So from here, I want us to talk a little bit about when things get difficult. So let’s address some challenges. I know for a lot of people there are painful memories during the holidays and that is the source of their stress. I get this, I was in that position last year, you know, after losing somebody I loved during that year and remembering the year prior, when we have spent holidays together, it makes things really difficult. But the one thing that I learned that I found so tremendously helpful is remember that in order to release some of your, you know, negative memories or the sad ones, it requires you building new memories to take their place.

10:32 So even though it may be a stretch outside of your comfort zone, you know, attend that party that you may not want to attend but you’re invited to or go out and see a tree lighting or you know, go get hot cocoa somewhere, whatever it is that feels right to you, try to create new memories because from there you’re going to associate the holiday with the new thing you did and not necessarily the painful memory. It’s also difficult to, for those of you who don’t get to spend time with the people that you really want to see, those who have family across an ocean or across the country, make it and make an extra effort to reach out in ways that you can actually, you know, speak with them. You know, Skype is amazing. Now, same thing with FaceTime. We’re all connected now through the internet as well.

11:20 Just because somebody isn’t with you physically, it does not mean they’re not with you. And as long as you go into the holiday season, remembering that they will always be with you. You’ll take them wherever you are and you can still create new memories and then you’ll be able to share them with those people that you love the next time you see them. And lastly, a lot of folks can’t afford to do what they want to do during the holidays. And that’s why I feel it’s so important, first and foremost, to minimize your stress, to decide what the holidays mean to you. Because the holidays may not mean money. It may not mean gifts. It may mean the time that you get to spend with people and maybe the memories that you get to build. And by shifting the focus there, it makes it much, much easier to obtain what your ideal holiday would be because it’s not necessarily tied to some money.

12:05 So it’d be grateful for what you have, be grateful for the people around you and the opportunities that you have and you will always be wealthy. So which of these tips are you going to use to manage your holiday stress? Definitely be sure to leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, anywhere on social media. I would love to hear from you and hear additional tips and I just may feature your comment on a future episode. So as I do every single episode here is this episode’s featured comment. So tally one of my buddies on Instagram’s Holly blessing too commented team love, which I thought was such a great term or such a great team name for a post I did on my boyfriend and my son, which was awesome. So thank you for that Tally. If you found today’s episode valuable, please be sure to like it. If you didn’t give it a thumbs down, that’s fine. That gives me guidance on what I need to know to make this content even better for you. Next time, ready for even more self help and motivational content, just like this, be sure to visit my website, www.corrielo.com com and sign up for my email list. Every week I provide tips, tools, resources, and your interviews designed to help you lead a more motivated, passionate, and positive life and business. I look forward to connecting with you there.

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