The average adult in the United States is expected to spend $885 on Christmas this year. Many people begin to feel the financial impact and stress of the holiday season right around this time of year. However, many folks are trying to cope with holiday stress in ways that actually make it worse.
Unhealthy Coping Techniques
Being stressed out during the holidays is inevitable for some. Between finding the perfect gift, sticking to a budget, and trying to remain in the holiday spirit, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Because of this, many people head straight towards coping techniques to manage the stress of the season. However, some of the most popular coping techniques are actually adding to your holiday stress.
- Having a drink before bed. Plenty of people have a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage before bed. Although this can help you wind down, it will also disrupt REM sleep. To get the best night’s sleep possible, skip the booze.
- Binging on carbs. The holidays are typically full of good, carby foods. Loading up on these foods will cause energy crashes and add to your holiday stress more than you know.
- Don’t skip the gym! Many people find the hustle-and-bustle of the holiday season a good reason to skip their regular workout routine. Working out will help naturally boost your energy levels and it is a great way to beat stress. Skipping it will actually make you feel less energized.
- Stopping for an extra coffee. Too much caffeine will always leave you feeling drained and, when accompanied by stress, it can make you feel really sick.
- Making everyone else a priority. Although the holiday season is usually about finding gifts for others and lending a helping hand, you can’t make everyone else top priority all the time. It is important to continue practicing self-care and considering your needs.
- Don’t overschedule yourself. FOMO (fear of missing out) often leads people to overscheduling themselves during the holiday season. However, scheduling yourself for too many events will only add to your stress.
- Stop trying to catch up on your sleep on the weekends. You need to get regular sleep every night. Don’t try to run all of your errands and catch up on sleep on the weekends. This irregular sleep pattern will make you feel lethargic.
- Trim your social media use down. It is easy to fall into a comparison trap when you are scrolling through social media, especially during the holiday season. Instead, unplug for a little while and spend quality time with the people that mean most to you.
Ways to Beat Holiday Stress
Instead of hitting up these harmful coping techniques, consider doing one of the following to battle your holiday stress.
- Spend some time outside. It is easy to spend every day inside during the holiday season, especially if you live in a colder area. Bundling up and going out for a walk can be great for your mental health. Be sure that if you’re not able to soak up some sunshine you should take a Vitamin D supplement.
- Add some citrus into your life. Citrus smells can help combat stress, anxiety, and depression. Put an orange or lemon essential oil into a diffuser in your home and you’ll start noticing a difference in your overall mood.
- Stick to a routine. Don’t let the holidays throw off your regular routine. Stick to some parts of your day, like waking up at the same time, hitting the gym, and what time you eat. Having this basic routine will help you find some normality during the busy time of year.
- Get regular exercise. If it’s too cold to get outside for a walk, schedule some time to go to a workout class with friends or hit the gym. Working out is one of the best natural ways to beat stress.
- Take some time for yourself. The holiday season is typically about other people so it is easy to let your personal needs go under the radar. The best gift you can give yourself this year is maintaining your self-care throughout the holidays.
Lastly, remember that the holiday season is about spending time with one another. The best present you can give someone is your presence. Don’t let your finances stop you from having a happy holiday season.
Readers, how do you cope with holiday stress?