Ahh, the holidays. It’s a time when we can all get together with our families and enjoy some quality time together. While this idyllic version of the holiday season may seem like a lovely vacation from the harsh, fast-paced real world, it’s not exactly true. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly 40% of Americans say that they feel increased stress during the holidays. That wouldn’t be so shocking if researchers didn’t also find less than a quarter of that actually feel better during the holiday season.
Long story short: if you feel stressed out during the holidays, you’re not alone.
Fortunately, this isn’t something you have to take sitting down. Instead, there are some crucial ways that you can deal with holiday stress in both proactive and reactive ways. We’ll take a look at what causes holiday stress and some of the best ways to deal with holiday season stress and anxiety in this post.
Not-So-Happy Holidays: Causes of Stress During the Holiday Season
Before we dive into the best ways to manage holiday stress, let’s explore why this type of anxiety raises its ugly head in the first place. Here are some of the main stress triggers during the holidays.
Making Too Many Commitments
This can be a particularly big stress trigger, especially if you have a large extended family. The tasks can quickly pile up if you attend a get-together with many family members. Someone has to cook the big dinner, for example, and someone else has to shop for all the ingredients. While it can be easy to get swept up in the good vibes of the holiday season and accept a ton of responsibilities, actually fulfilling your commitments can be a huge stress trigger.
The holidays are supposed to be when you celebrate with the people closest to you. However, sometimes this can go too far. It’s easy to overdo it during the holiday season, eating, drinking, and spending too much without even realizing it. And here’s the worst part about overdoing it around the holidays: it’ll follow you into the next year. Keeping yourself on the straight and narrow during the holidays can be a great way to combat this kind of stress.
The Big SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Sometimes, the sources of your stress don’t actually have anything to do with the holidays themselves. Instead, it could be related to Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called “SAD.” This disorder seems to have something to do with the hours of sunlight you receive per day and can significantly impact your mood. While there’s no real way to “cure” SAD, you can take some steps to help minimize the impact it has on your mood.
Ways to Help Reduce Holiday Stress This Year
Just because these stressors trigger anxiety during the holiday season doesn’t mean that you need to give in to feelings of anxiety. Here are some ways to prevent holiday stress from overwhelming you, along with procedures for what to do if that happens.
Set Boundaries and Priorities
We’ve written about positive ways to set holiday boundaries in a previous blog post. In short, setting clear, consistent boundaries with your family and friends will help you navigate the holidays much easier. Tell them the things you’re happy to do, you’re willing to do, and that you won’t do at all. It’s a great proactive method of combatting stress around the holidays – make sure anxiety never begins by nipping it in the bud!
Likewise, make sure you set priorities during the holidays. One big priority that many of us forget about is our mental health. Don’t be afraid to take some time to yourself to relax and de-stress.
There are times when, despite our best efforts, we get stressed out during the holidays anyway. Being mindful during the holiday season is a great way to ensure that it doesn’t ruin your celebration even when stress does pop up.
There are a few specific ways that you can be mindful during this holiday season. One big way is to simply accept imperfections. Realize that the real world isn’t going to be able to match your ideal version in your mind. Another way to be mindful is to respond to others with kindness, regardless of how they try to treat you.
One more great way to practice Mindfulness is by establishing a meditative practice. To learn more about Mindful meditation techniques, check out our blog post on the subject.
Use CBD to Help Soothe Stress
Sometimes, all the self-care in the world won’t be able to lessen the stress you’re feeling this holiday season. Fortunately, there’s another option to help soothe any anxiety you’re feeling.
One of the main active ingredients in cannabis, CBD appears to have some stress-relieving properties. According to some research, CBD demonstrates anxiolytic (stress-reducing) effects in humans. What’s more, this organic compound may even offer a potential treatment for anxiety-related disorders.
That makes CBD a perfect companion for this holiday season. And at Relive Everyday, we’ve made it our mission to connect our customers with high-quality, accessible CBD products. we carry a diverse selection of CBD-infused concoctions like oils, gummies, topicals, and capsules that make it easy to find the perfect product for your lifestyle. To learn more, check out our complete selection in our online store. That’s all for this post, but stay safe this holiday season, and above all don’t stress out!