If your stress levels tend to rise during the holidays, you’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), nearly 40% of Americans feel the intense pressure of the festive season.
With nine million things to do and only twenty-four hours in a day, it can seem impossible to keep your head above water. With so much to worry about, you may not even be sure what’s stressing you out!
When managing holiday stress, it’s essential to identify your triggers so you can plan to tackle them ahead of time. Below, you’ll find a list of the most common reasons for holiday stress — as reported by the APA — and several effective strategies to minimize it.
By the end, you’ll be ready to make the most out of the most wonderful time of the year.
In their survey on holiday stress in America, the APA identified the top stressors for people of all ages, genders, and income levels nationwide.
Here’s what they found…
As we all know, there’s a lot of hype around the holidays. The bright lights, decorations, and jovial music signify a time for happiness and cheer.
But if you’re feeling more holiday stress than joy, the pressure to be jolly can make matters worse…
Especially if you’re surrounded by friends and family who aren’t phased by the demands of the season.
The greatest source of holiday stress in America is the feeling that there’s no time to get everything done.
With all the planning, preparation, decorating, cooking, cleaning, gift-buying, gift-wrapping, traveling, and family get-togethers, it can seem impossible to keep your head above water.
No wonder a lack of time sits on top of the list. It feels like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up!
Not only is there pressure to be jolly during the holidays, but also to buy things — and lots of them.
A lack of money is the second most common holiday stressor on our list. Families often worry they won’t be able to afford all the gifts they need to give their loved ones a memorable experience.
That, coupled with the overcommercialization of the holidays and societal pressure to empty your wallet, leads to immense financial stress for many Americans.
Whether you’re buying for friends, family, or coworkers, buying and giving gifts can be a significant source of holiday stress.
Finding the right gift for each person on your Christmas list can be challenging. What should you get for them? How much should you spend to stay within your budget? Will they even like it?
As generous and fulfilling as giving gifts is, figuring out what to buy can be pretty stressful.
Even in the healthiest and most well-functioning families, get-togethers require a lot of planning and preparation, which can lead to stress.
Sensitive topics of conversation often get brought up when we come together for the holidays, and as a result, arguments may break out. The looming pressure of these situations, as well as seeing family members we may not get along with, can put a damper on our holiday cheer.
Mouth-watering aromas and delicious foods fill our homes during the holidays, which can make it difficult to stick to a diet.
The aftermath of indulging in a seasonal feast may leave us feeling stressed about our weight and overall health.
Millions of Americans travel for the holidays every year, whether by car, train, or plane. Traveling already comes with its fair share of stress — planning the trip, packing, making your departure time, traveling safely, and more…
But add the holidays into the mix, and the roads, train stations, and airports are packed with people on their way home to celebrate. Traffic, delays, and other travel-related complications are a big source of holiday stress for many people.
For many of us, work stress gets even worse during the holidays. People are often unsure whether they’ll get enough time off to celebrate with their families…
And even if they do, they’re worried that work duties might get in the way of the festivities.
Now that we’ve learned the top causes of holiday stress, let’s cover some practical ways to relieve it…
Take a look at the above list and identify the things that stress you out the most. Once you’re done, develop a plan to handle each one this holiday season.
If traveling is one of your triggers, make a checklist of everything you need to pack, pack well in advance, and get to the airport or train station early.
If sensitive family conversations stress you out, plan to set concrete boundaries during the get-together (i.e., “I don’t really want to get into politics right now. Can we talk about something else?”).
And if a lack of time is your main stressor, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes all we need is a helping hand to ease the burden of holiday stress. You can also start decorating, planning, and gift-buying earlier in the year to give yourself more time.
The holidays are about spending time with the people you love, but you can’t fully show up for them if you’re experiencing too much holiday stress.
It may seem like there’s no room in your schedule, but even if it’s just 5-10 minutes a day, make some time to relax, breathe, journal, meditate, or do something you love.
Having that time to yourself will give you a break from all the noise and help recharge your batteries for the holiday craziness.
Going into this season, we often have this ideal image of the perfect holiday in our minds…
But things rarely play out that way. These expectations only serve to put additional pressure on an already stressful time of year.
Instead of hoping for the perfect holiday this year, adopt a mindset of acceptance. Whatever happens, just roll with it and make the most out of every moment you have with friends and family.
Especially during the holidays, “no” is perhaps the most powerful word in the English language.
If your schedule is already jam-packed with errands, preparations, and holiday events, don’t be afraid to turn down any further invitations or obligations. You only have so much time and energy, and stretching yourself even thinner during the holidays is a recipe for disaster.
This stress-relieving strategy can apply to everything, including cooking, work parties, decorating, etc. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, say no to the office party, pick up some pre-made brownies, and forgo the 15th string of Christmas garland in the living room.
The holidays aren’t worth sacrificing your mental health. Protect it with the power of “no.”
BEMER is one of the fastest and easiest ways to ease holiday stress right from home.
In just two eight-minute sessions a day (perfect for the busy holiday schedule), BEMER is proven to enhance:
You may have noticed there’s a lot more on that list other than stress relief.
That’s because — through the power of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) technology — BEMER naturally and safely stimulates the muscles for increased local blood flow, boosting nutrient and oxygen delivery and carbon dioxide removal.
This improved circulation helps the body recover faster, perform better, and reduce stress — benefits that are a godsend to anyone during the holidays.
In function and ease of use, BEMER works much like a wireless phone charger. All you have to do is turn your device on, apply the applicator to your body, and relax.
With BEMER therapy, two eight-minute sessions a day is all that stands between you and less holiday stress.