Overexpectation. This is the single biggest cause of holiday stress. Unrealistic hopes that everything will be perfect, and everyone will be happy can only lead to disappointment, frustration and even depression. Be realistic and enjoy the true meaning of the holidays, which is about celebration and togetherness – not perfection.
Overscheduling. Most of our lives are already overscheduled, even before adding in holiday visits, religious events, and travel. Make plans carefully in advance and don’t be afraid to say “No!" if you feel burdened.
Overindulging. Eat, drink and be merry…within reason. Overeating can worsen certain health problems and causes unneeded guilt over extra pounds. Enjoy the bounty of special celebrations but don’t go overboard.
Overpaying. Don't confuse “stuff” with love. Make a budget and stick to it. Most of all, remember to give the gift of time to children. Long after the $100 video games are forgotten, kids will remember sledding down hills with you.
Overexertion. Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for food and presents. Shop ahead of time. Use the Internet. And don’t go it alone! Delgate if necessary.
Overbearing Relatives. Family conflicts can resurface during what should be ideal moments. Try to avoid falling into old tensions or old roles. If certain people are problematic, be creative with seating or invite people to different occasions at different times. Set aside differences until after the holidays. If friction arises, leave the room to baste the turkey or take a walk with someone.
Overstressed. Keep an eye out for signs of discomfort and stress that takes its toll on your body and mind. Head or backaches, nightmares, withdrawal, irritability and other out-of-character behaviors are a sign that you have taken on too much.
How are you doing with the Holidays?