I'm experiencing some holiday stress... Anyone else? Yep, I thought so! The holidays are known by some to be the most stressful time of their year. I wouldn't say it's the MOST stressful for me but balancing work or school with family, shopping, and gatherings, can make it difficult to keep it all together.
I talked with local social worker and therapist Margaret Goger-Cranston about what she hears most in her line of work. She said she hears the most stress from two types of people.
- The person who approaches a holiday hopeful that all family ills will suddenly be healed and all will be well.
- The person who has taken on the responsibility of making the holiday perfect for others.
Margaret shared with me that the person described in scenario two is most often a woman. Our society tends to put greater expectations socially on women so "they may try to do everything and create the perfect experience for everyone."
So how do we fix this? Here are FIVE ways!
- Lower your expectations and make them more realistic.
- Be the "safe" person and not a "pot-stirrer."
- Live in the moment & invite others to participate with you.
- Focus on commonalities, not differences.
- Be open to new experiences.
Another idea? DELEGATE! For those of you out there who take on the entertaining piece of the holiday, help others feel more involved and like they can contribute by delegating tasks or some of the cooking to them. You'll be less stressed and your guests will feel fulfilled too.
Alright, I think we're ready to tackle this holiday season in a happier and less-stressed way. Good luck and Happy Holidays!