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When you think of the holidays, what comes to mind first? Spending time with family? Decorating the house with the kids? Or… is it stress? Does planning for Christmas and the December holidays stress you out?
Holiday Stress Statistics
In a recent article published by allonehealth.com, “Holiday stress statistics show that up to 69 percent of people are stressed by the feeling of having a ‘lack of time,’ 69 percent are stressed by perceiving a ‘lack of money,’ and 51 percent are stressed out about the ‘pressure to give or get gifts.’”
You might find yourself wondering if it’s always been like this. Chores have always added up at the end of the year. Things like getting holiday lights up, organizing the house before guests arrive, and cleaning up the yard before it snows have always been a part of people’s lives. Even shopping for gifts on your lunch hour isn’t new.
In the age of the internet, the holiday stress starts long before Thanksgiving. Now, we’re looking at packed calendars and miles-long to-do lists that run from October to New Year’s on top of sports and other extracurriculars that pack the schedule.
Stress-Inducing Moments and How to Handle Them
Just thinking about December might be enough to induce a panic attack, but you can handle it. Personally, crowded malls, aggressive shoppers, and excessive traffic. You might not be able to change things, but you can definitely deal with them differently. Here’s a quick list of things that stress us out during the holidays, and how to deal.
1. Long Lines at the Mall
Let’s face it; a crowded mall can turn any Christmas shopping experience from joyful to jarring. If you don’t enjoy fighting for parking spaces, standing up to line cutters at checkout, or busting down doors to grab a deal on the hottest toys, then online shopping was invented for people like you. Many shops offer free or reduced shipping during the holidays, but even if they don’t, the cost is well worth the time, gas money, and aggravation saved!
Personally, I’ve been shopping online for years. I love the ability to compare prices, avoid lines, and not have to worry about the store’s stock. I know some people don’t like to shop on Amazon, but in this day and age, you can shop pretty much all of your favorite stores online so it’s not a bit deal.
2. Waiting Forever to See Santa
Sure, every mom must have the obligatory Mall Santa photo featuring their youngest child screaming on the old bearded man’s lap. But it may be worth looking into some lesser-known Santa Claus photo opps. Rural areas often have farms that go all-out for Christmas, and Santa and/or a special reindeer visit may just be part of the fun.
3. Elf on the Shelf
Here’s a cute and adorable guy who’s added considerable pressure for busy parents at Christmas time. Sure, those photos of the Elf toilet papering people’s Christmas trees are hilarious and all. But they’re way better on someone else’s Facebook page. It’s not too late to ban holiday elves from your home. You can always tell your kids that the Elf was so impressed with their behavior that he decided it wasn’t necessary to keep that close of an eye on them.
4. Your Drained Bank Account
These are just a few of the many reasons we tend to stress ourselves out during the holidays. This year, you have our permission to take a stand against holiday stress! Get back to making holidays the time of peace, joy, and togetherness that they were meant to be.
If the holidays leave you financially strapped, why not do things differently this year? When making holiday plans with family and friends, be honest about your gift expectations. You can have a “no gifts” policy at the office, kids-only gift-giving at the yearly Christmas party with family, or do a $10 and under grab bag to keep things thrifty.
How do you deal with holiday stress?