While many people look forward to the holiday season, believe it or not, some actually dread this time of year for many reasons. The holidays are a time of year when many people get together with family, which can bring its own stressors. Then, some find themselves far away from home, and that’s even worse. Feeling isolated can bring all kinds of emotions, such as anxiety or even depression. And, of course, many people find themselves stressed about money.

I recently heard a phrase that I wasn’t familiar with, it was called “Christmas Creep.” After a bit of research, I learned that this is when companies begin marketing the winter holidays way early to motivate spending.

I’ll admit not long ago, I had a moment myself when I realized I needed to get a jump start on shopping, and the weeks seemed to be rolling by so quickly. I started thinking about how much money I would spend, and it was a bit unsettling. BUT I reminded myself that the holidays are what we make of them and they DON’T have to be stressful at all.

Here are a few tips to tackle the stress of the holidays

Create your own traditions!

  • If you are worried about the gift-giving budget, DON’T overspend! A game of Secret Santa is always fun and removes the pressure of buying so many gifts.
  • Host a holiday party. This is a great way to get in the holiday spirit and helps with those feelings of loneliness. You don’t have to be a fancy party planner; you can easily keep your gathering intimate by inviting just a few good friends.

Embrace new things!

  • If you live abroad or far away from family, be sure to get out and try new experiences. Christmas markets are very popular, and light shows and displays are inexpensive. And don’t forget to try new cuisines.
  • Create a holiday bucket list. Try to complete as many things as you can. Your list can be as simple as you like and doesn’t have to require a lot of money. Easy tasks could be watching a movie, making a gingerbread house, or baking cookies.

I’ve learned that this time of year should bring joy and warmth. A lot of times, it’s stressful because we make it stressful. We try so hard to make things perfect to impress others or live up to expectations of what we see in the media. This holiday season I challenge you to tackle your stress. This can be done by tailoring your experience to what works for you and your family.

Happy Holidays!

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