How To Stay Cheerful and Avoid Emotional Stress During the Holidays

For many, the holidays are an exciting and cheerful time full of joy, hope, warmth and happiness. Though for some, the holiday season can be a stressful and emotionally draining time. This is the time of year when some people feel the most alone, and tend to grieve for friends and family that are no longer around. Sometimes, Christmas cheer, can magnify the sadness of personal loss. But this truly should and can be a season of hope, love, and togetherness when neighbors and friends become like family. If you find yourself feeling down instead of picked up by the holiday spirit, you can learn to create your own new traditions, while still treasuring those times of the past.

Below are some helpful tips on how to stay cheerful during the holiday season and deal with emotional stress:


Be honest about your feelings.

Dealing with stress and emotions is not about hiding them or lying to yourself about how you feel. If you feel sadness, stress, or grief during the holiday season, it is best to allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you are feeling in the moment. Don’t attempt to force happiness or cheer; when it is time to cry, cry and let it all out. Crying is cleansing, and if you hold it in, it will only rise to the surface later.


Don’t isolate yourself.

Let others know how you feel. Be honest with your friends, family, and other loved ones. When you tell others about your sadness, then they are given the opportunity to help you, to be there for you. Get out of the house, even if you feel reluctant to do so. Remember that emotions are energy, like everything else that exists; if you change your surroundings, even for a little while, you will change that energy. Go to coffee with a friend or co-worker, take a walk with a friend or a pet, or go watch a parade procession. All of these very simple acts will help to alleviate emotional stress and help you to pick up some positive energy vibes.


Rid yourself of expectations of perfection.

Nothing is perfect. The holidays should not be expected to be perfect either. Our lives are not a Broadway play or Hollywood movie. We need to accept things as they are, and not put so much pressure on ourselves or our loved ones to be perfect. Enjoy each day as it comes, and deal with each problem as it arrives. Don’t allow anything to take over your day; relax, talk it out if necessary, and handle each situation as it comes.


Stay away from money woes.

Just because the tv commercials, or other people around you try to consciously and unconsciously encourage you to spend excessive money while shopping during the holiday season, ignore it all and create your own budget. Stick to it. If you cannot afford to buy gifts this year, be honest with yourself and others. Your true friends and family will understand. Bake cookies, make your own creative cards, and send out beautiful e-cards to everyone on your email list. Don’t make yourself miserable by trying to spend what you don’t have. It will only make the new year more stressful than it needs to be.


Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

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