The holidays can be exciting as well as stressful for many. Many people drink large amounts of alcohol during the holidays as a way to manage their stress. Taking care of yourself during this time is important so that you do not get overwhelmed with the demands that the holidays can bring.
Stress during the holidays can come from different sources such as dealing with unpleasant or difficult family members, preparing your home for company, buying gifts, grief that comes from any type of loss, and feeling that there is not enough time to get everything done. Of course there can be other stressors as well such as loneliness or having a military spouse deployed at Christmas.
Finding time during the hustle and bustle of the holidays to relax and reconnect to God will be the most important in keeping your stress levels down.
Pick and choose the activities that are most important for you to attend and do not feel like you have to be at every social event. Perhaps staying home and watching a Christmas movie would help ease some of the stress. If you are hosting Christmas at your house, make sure you take the time in-between to do things that you enjoy. Entertaining can be fun, but it is a lot of work!
If your heart is heavy, perhaps from having a prodigal child, dealing with dysfunctional family or coping with the loss of a loved one, make sure that you stay plugged-in to Christ. Nothing and no one can fill that void or emptiness like Jesus. I am preaching to myself here as well! I have a prodigal child that CAN cause me to feel stress, especially during the holidays. I can have random and negative thoughts that create stress like, “Will he even come for Christmas this year?” Maybe you are dealing with the loss of a loved one and the thought of them not being there with you is causing you great stress.
Tips for reducing holiday stress:
- Acknowledge your pain or stress to Jesus.
- Take your cares to Christ.
- Talk with Him often and pray continually for the things that cause you to feel overwhelmed.
- Keep things in perspective.
- Do not allow the enemy to magnify your circumstances.
- Stay thankful and make out a gratitude list every day to help you see that God is still working in your life.
- Be around supportive, encouraging, and faith-filled people.
- Take it one day at a time.
- Be realistic, the holidays do not have to be perfect for you to enjoy them.
- Set limits on being around difficult family members.
- Do not overschedule your visits with family, allow time to rest and recover from your visits.
- Have a Christmas budget to avoid the stress of overspending.
- Do not feel obligated to buy for everyone or buy the most expensive gifts.
- Learn to say, “No,” to others.
- Keep healthy habits in place like exercise and not overindulging on unhealthy foods.
- Slow down … BREATHE …
Cast ALL your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
What ways do you alleviate stress during the holidays?