Anxiety & Stress Can Make the Holidays Harder… Here’s How to Cope
Around the holidays last year, I did a Real Talk video about how to make the holiday season more joyful. You can watch that video here. I felt pulled to share everything because I literally imploded. I got so stressed I would cry at the drop of a hat. I was constantly anxious and stressed. I was short with my family. It wasn’t pretty.
The reality is even though the holidays are often joyful, they are also VERY stressful, especially for us women. On top of our already very long TO-DO lists, the holidays keep piling it on. We are expected to have perfect decorations, clean houses, bake beautiful cookies, be present and happy with our children, attend all school functions, shop for everyone, wrap dozens of gifts perfectly… oh, and all while looking impossibly stylish. It’s an IMPOSSIBLE ideal …and I want you all to know that we do NOT have to do it all.
Here’s what I want you to understand: Your feelings of overwhelm are not trivial, they are real and justified. It’s okay to take care of YOU too! And, perhaps most importantly, you are NOT alone.
(And, if that doesn’t work, I’m giving away a $250 gift card. 😉 Just scroll all the way to the bottom to enter!)
How You’re Feeling…
There is no question that I am very lucky. I have so much to be grateful for… I could go on and on about all of the things. I could write about all the things you have to be grateful for. I could talk about the magic and spirit of the holiday season. ALL of these things are valid and true, but here’s the deep dark secret. For many of us, the holidays are a HUGE source of stress and anxiety. We already juggle a million things and now we have more… a LOT more. And, we’re expected to handle it all with aplomb.
What It’s Doing To You…
Here’s what happens when we let the holiday insanity take over… We get frustrated with our families. You may snap at your kids or your husband about something random. And it’s not because you’re actually mad, annoyed, or frustrated with them. It’s because you’re mad at yourself for spreading yourself too thin. You’re tired! Which is exactly what you don’t want! You want to enjoy this time of the year. You might have a meltdown or three. You might drink too much wine and eat a lot of sugar. Bottom line, nothing great is going to come out of you putting too much pressure on yourself.
How To Take Some Pressure Away…
I do not have all the answers by any means. But I did find a few things that simplified things last year. First, if it’s driving you crazy…STOP! Just don’t do it. Because your happiness and sanity are too important! There is no rule that you HAVE to send out holiday cards. It’s a huge time suck and frankly the people who receive them only end up throwing those cards in the garbage in 2 weeks.
Last year, I outsourced things I didn’t have time for. For example, wrapping presents. This takes hours to do and personally, I don’t like it. I paid our cleaning lady extra to wrap all the presents. Done! I also outsourced decorating the house. While I DO like to decorate, I just didn’t have time last year. Maybe cooking isn’t your thing or your love, buy the dinner …and just warm it up. You can grab a catered meal or ask your local grocery store if they are doing holiday meals. Your family will be psyched for the dinner period regardless of where it comes from. If you don’t bake, buy the baked goods at your local bakery. They will probably taste better anyway. Write out everything you have to do and then start putting a checkmark next to things you can outsource. Don’t forget about your husband. Just because there is some unwritten rule that women do everything during the holidays, doesn’t mean you have to stick to that.
One More Thing: Instagram v. Reality
Let me tell you…Instagram is not reality! Do not get on social media and think you need to have that perfect tree, table, meal, outfit, etc. that you see on Instagram. The truth is that most of us are barely getting by. Social media is just one more thing to cause anxiety. And you don’t need any more of that! So don’t let it get to you.
You can watch more Real Talk videos here.
I LOVE this video I did with JCPenney last year. It’s very close to my heart and really embodies the spirit of the holidays.
Thank you for stopping by!