Holiday Stress

4 Causes of Holiday Stress and How to Cope with It

The holiday season is here — and so is the stress that impacts many people during the season.

Holiday stress can be problematic, and the holiday season is sometimes filled with loneliness, sadness, and anxiety, all of which can contribute to this issue. Fortunately, people who understand the causes of holiday stress can take steps to cope with it.

There are many reasons why people feel stressed around the holidays. Now, let’s examine four causes of holiday stress, as well as strategies that you can use to manage holiday stress.

1. Holiday Gatherings

The holiday season is often the perfect time to get together with family members, friends, and other loved ones, even distant relatives who you have not seen in a long time. Yet dealing with toxic relatives that you otherwise avoid throughout the rest of the year can cause stress that dampens your holiday spirit.

People struggling with depression sometimes face a stigma when dealing with toxic relatives during the holidays. For example, in certain instances, toxic relatives might believe a person coping with depression is lazy or that the condition is all in an individual’s head, which is never the case.

To deal with stress related to holiday gatherings, it is important to remember that the holidays are a great time to focus on forgiveness. Even though you may not be able to change a relative’s view of you or your depression, you can focus on self-care. You can also accept the fact that maintaining a healthy state of mind is a top priority — and do whatever you need to do to feel happy and healthy during the holiday season.

2. Holiday Shopping

Gift-giving is common around the holidays, but the temptation to spend above and beyond your means to purchase the perfect present can cause serious financial stress during the holiday season and after it ends.

Ultimately, it helps to create a holiday shopping budget and stick to it. You can also give gifts that don’t require you to spend money, like a handmade present or the gift of quality time. This allows you to provide exceptional holiday presents that show who you are to the people you love — without breaking your budget.

3. Holiday Obligations

You want to make the most of the holiday season, so you may try to attend as many holiday parties, parades, and other events as possible. In addition, you may commit to decorating a Christmas tree, preparing holiday cookies, and performing other holiday activities.

As much as you may try to plan ahead for holiday obligations, the sheer volume of obligations can sometimes lead to increased stress. In this situation, you may be susceptible to less sleep, overeating, and more drinking during the holiday season, WebMD states.

If you say yes to every holiday event or activity, you could burn out quickly. So, when it comes to holiday obligations, remember that it is ok to say no if a holiday event or activity causes your stress levels to rise.

4. Memories

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year for many people, but for others, it can bring up memories that incite feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and guilt. For instance, people sometimes dwell on memories of the past or memories of deceased loved ones during holiday events, and this can make it difficult to celebrate in the present.

If certain memories affect your ability to enjoy the holidays, professional help is available. In fact, Achieve Medical Center offers a wide range of psychiatric and mental health services to help people cope with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), anxiety, and other mental health conditions before, during, and after the holiday season.

Holiday stress is sometimes unavoidable, but Achieve Medical Center helps patients find the best ways to cope with this issue. Achieve Medical Center’s clinicians are passionate about patient care, and treat the biological, psychological, and social aspects of the individual. They also offer modern, non-invasive treatment options, along with personalized treatment programs to accommodate each patient’s needs. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please contact us online, or call us today at (858) 427-5060.

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