Managing the Holiday Season

Posted by in Articles, David Chaddock

by: David Chaddock

Welcome to the Christmas and New Year’s Season!  The Holiday Season can be a time of hope and joy, but for many, the holidays are a time of stress, loneliness and grief.  A recent study found that 80% of respondents described the holidays as “mostly” or “very” stressful.  As we start the Holidays, it may help to follow these tips so we can focus on Christ’s presence in our lives this Season.

How can we manage this Holiday Stress?

  • Doing Too Much – As the saying goes, “All things in moderation.”  One problem in the holiday season is that it’s too much of a good thing.  Too much of anything leaves us feeling overwhelmed, frazzled and worn out.  Try to limit the shopping, parties, cards, and gifts and focus on simplicity.
  • Eating, Drinking and Spending Too Much – It’s fun to eat, drink, and be merry, but not to “excess”.  The temptation to over eat, drink and spend can lead to weight gain, memories of embarrassing behaviors, and debt.  These problems can linger long beyond this Holiday Season.  Be mindful this year about not consuming too much.
  • Too Much Togetherness – The holidays can be a fun time when we gather with extended family.  While this can be a wonderful thing, anything that moves us out of our normal routines adds stress to our lives.  With our families, we sometimes fall back into “old family roles” or just lose some of our privacy which can be stressful.  Try to keep regular routines and schedule time apart, while still enjoying time together.  Take a walk if you need some space from the family gathering.
  • Not Enough Togetherness –  Sometimes we can feel really alone and isolated when it seems the rest of the world is gathering for gala events and parties.  Whether we are away from family or have lost a love one, try to find ways to connect with others.  Volunteer at church or in the community.  Helping others will help relieve some of the loneliness we may feel.
  • Finding Help When the Stress is Too High – You may find the Holiday Season especially difficult for one reason or another.  Perhaps you are grieving a loved one, or time with your family was upsetting, or this season carries painful memories.  Know that help is available.  Contact the Pastoral Care office at 253-6461or call CenterPoint Counseling at 252-5518 to schedule time with one of our counselors.

Try to stay focused on the Reason for the Season and watch for the coming of the Christ Child in a new way this year.  Calming your mind and meditating on Jesus’ birth may be the best way to add meaning and perspective to your holiday celebrations this year.