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7 Strategies to Help Your Family Combat Holiday Stress

7 Strategies to Help Your Family Combat Holiday Stress

This is the time of the year when we should be having fun with our family and friends, but the truth is that the holidays can be very stressful for many of us. They present a series of demands that include shopping, entertaining, parties, and lots more. Because we tend to set high expectations for the holiday season, it is not surprising that most of us experience some holiday stress.

What causes holiday stress?

For many of us, most of our holiday stress results from interacting with our family. This might be caused by sad memories of past holiday seasons.  It might be caused by the changes that have occurred in the life of another family member, or by the changes that haven’t occurred in ours.  It might simply be caused by having to suffer through the same family gatherings, with the same people, and the same food.

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No matter what is causing your holiday stress, these 7 strategies can help you deal with your stress, and may even help make your family get-togethers fun again.

1. Acknowledge your feelings.

If you have lost a family member this year, the holidays can bring back feelings of sadness and loss.  Understand the fact that it’s okay to feel sad, and be willing to express your feelings to other family members. Sharing stories of the good times that you spent with a lost family member can help the whole family feel better.

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2. Set realistic expectations.

Speak to your children regarding holiday activities and their expectations for gifts. Holiday stress can be minimized by taking action to make sure everyone has the same goals and expectations for the holiday season. While you should never expect your family holidays to be perfect, you can minimize stress by making sure that the whole family has the same expectations.

3. Do something different.

If your normal family get-together is the source of your stress, try something different. If you’re overwhelmed with being the host, ask another family member to help out. You might even want to plan the family holiday dinner at a local restaurant instead of your home. Trying something new and different can reduce or eliminate your stress.

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4. Don’t expect miracles.

If your holiday stress comes from a history of family conflict, you shouldn’t expect any miracles during the holiday season. You probably will not see a huge break-through in ongoing conflicts, but you can focus on how you can react in positive ways when the conflict happens.

5. Just say no.

Saying yes when you know that you should be saying no can create feelings of resentment and overwhelm. Be honest with your friends and family, and help them to understand that you cannot participate in every event. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t say no to a family event, look for other activities that you can remove from you schedule to minimize your stress.

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6. Set differences aside.

Accept your relatives for who they are, even if they don’t meet your expectations. Save grievances for a more suitable time, and be understanding if others get frustrated and angry. They are probably experiencing the effects of holiday stress too.

7. Prepare a budget.

Decide the amount you can afford to spend prior to food and gift shopping. Do not be forced to spend more than what you can afford. Follow your budget as much as possible and remember that happiness can never be bought with gifts.

I wish that I could help you to eliminate all of your holiday stress, but I can’t!  However, you can minimize it by employing these 7 proven strategies.

Featured photo credit: kakisky via cdn.morguefile.com

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Last Updated on February 17, 2020

5 Reasons Why You Should Always Be Who You Are

5 Reasons Why You Should Always Be Who You Are

When it comes to being yourself, there can be a lot of pressure from the outside world as it tries to influence who you are. Living in a society that is constantly developing, it’s important for you to always be yourself from the inside out.

When you deeply know yourself and the boundaries that you have set, you are more likely to experience a fulfilling and rewarding life. Without knowing yourself and establishing those boundaries, you can easily be pushed around and end up on a dirt path.

So how to be who you are and always be yourself?

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” – Matthew 7:13-14

You have the option of taking the path that is broad or taking the path that is narrow. You can either conform to what life wants you to be, or have the courage to remain true to yourself throughout the years. It’s definitely a challenge to have a strong sense of self when we are constantly getting distracted and being influenced by the media and society’s way of life. But if you want to reach your fullest potential in life, it all starts with being yourself.

Why should you always be yourself? Because you will:

1. Live in Alignment With Your Values and Beliefs

Being yourself is all about knowing what you believe in and the values that you live by. When you are not yourself, you will take on the values and beliefs of others. This is when you start conforming to other people’s expectations and way of thinking.

When you know your values and why you do what you do, you will live according to your own values and beliefs.

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2. Establish Your Own Identity

When you are able to have a solid foundation of being you, you are establishing your own sense of identity. No matter what happens in your life, you will always know who you are.

There will be times where you may feel lost or distracted, but if you have your own identity you’ll be able to get back on the right path. Without establishing your own identity, you may easily conform and lose yourself.

3. Build Courage

It takes a great amount of courage when you decide to take the path that goes against the crowd. The reason why the majority of people take the broad path is because it’s easy.

It’s easy to just follow the crowd. It’s more of a challenge when you stay true to yourself and establish your own identity. This challenge of always being yourself takes courage and inner strength. No matter what comes your way, you’ll know how to handle it.

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4. Establish Boundaries

When you are always yourself, you know what your limits are and the boundaries that you have set for yourself. When people cross your boundaries, you will know.

But if you don’t establish boundaries, people may very well walk all over you and take advantage of you. If you are always yourself and you establish boundaries, you are more likely to be aware when people start taking advantage of you.

Create and establish your boundaries.

5. Find Focus and Direction

When you are always yourself, you are more likely to have focus and direction in your life. Imagine someone who is constantly conforming to other people’s expectations, do you think this person has focus and direction? I don’t think so.

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When you stay true to who you are, you are more likely to know the goals you want to accomplish and how to go about accomplishing them. You are able to stay focused and know which direction to take in order for you to accomplish your goals.

No matter what you experience in life, the only person that will always remain constant is you.

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Featured photo credit: María Victoria Heredia Reyes via unsplash.com

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