Holiday anxiety and stress: Top Three Tips to Minimize by Empower Counseling. While the holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, holidays can also be the most stressful time of the year, for many reasons.

Maybe you get along fine for the majority of the year but when the holidays roll around the same stuff you have with your family comes us and threatens to ruin your enjoyment. Maybe you have a brother or a sister you don’t get along with and every year you feel the pressure to smile, play nice, and put on a show for the benefit of all of your relatives.

Or maybe your greatest holiday stress comes from all of your responsibilities. It is hard to get everything done in a normal month, but when you add in parties, gifts to buy, extra food to prepare, etc. there is just no way one human can get it all done.

Maybe you struggle with feeling like you are pulled in too many directions between family and friends.

Maybe you are a perfectionist, who wants every little detail of the picture you have in your head of what the holidays should look like to be just right.

Regardless of what causes you the most anxiety and stress during the holidays, you are not alone. A majority of us feel more stress during the holidays.

1. Holiday Anxiety and Stress: Top Three tips to minimize by empower counseling. tip #1: Decide what you want your holiday season to look like.

Often we look at what we see as our obligations first instead of thinking about what we want our own holiday to look like. Before you open any invitations you receive in the mail, or respond to any texts or email invitations, take a few moments to be mindful about what you want. Do you want to be chill by the fire at home for most of it? Do you enjoy dressing up in your holiday gear and going to every party?

We tend to tell ourselves what we “should” do instead of asking ourselves what we want to do. Don’t you have a say so? What do you want? Be very clear in your own mind what you want you holiday season to look like, then respond to holiday invitations accordingly.

2. Write everything on your calendar.

Once you decide exactly what you want your holidays to look like, and you say “yes” to the invitations you want to say “yes” to, write everything down on your calendar. Block off the entire time needed to get ready, drive to and from, and attend each function. Stress does not just come from the rigor of our schedules, i.e. what all we have to do. Anxiety is compounded by having to do everything at a fast pace with no margin for error. Writing down the time it will take to get ready and attend a function will keep you from overbooking your schedule. Therefore, it will keep your stress and anxiety levels down.

3. Find quiet time for yourself.

When we get busy, self-care is usually the first thing to go. The less self-care we have, the higher the stress level becomes. When you are doing your scheduling this holiday season, schedule blocks of time on your calendar for self-care. Make this time non-negotiable, meaning you can’t squeeze in something else during that time.

Managing your time this holiday season is the key to keeping your stress and anxiety levels down.

If most of your stress and anxiety comes from family “stuff”, then reach out to Empower Counseling. We can help you resolve old family issues once and for all.

We have female and male trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy. We help teens, college students, young professionals, and adults, uncover exactly what is causing anxiety and depression. Then we help you move away from the anxiety and depression toward the life you want.

Call Empower Counseling at 205-730-6570

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