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Why Are the Holidays so Stressful?

Over the past few days, I have been unusually cranky and moody. It came out of no where over the weekend. I haven't really wanted to post or even respond to general text or emails from friends. I have summed it down to the stress of the upcoming holidays. The thing is, I didn't even realized that I was stressed until I sat down and decide to journal about it.

It is not a mystery that the holidays cause stress, but knowing exactly why or what is causing it is something else entirely. While this is different for each person, this explains some of the more common reasons people tend to get more stressed during the holidays.

What Causes Stress During the Holidays

First, let’s look at a summary of what might cause stress during the holidays. Many people get stressed from planning a party, cooking meals, or even attending a party if you get confused about what to wear or have social anxiety. Other people get more stressed about gaining weight due to the sweets, the financial aspects of the holidays, and shopping for gifts. There are also other types of holiday stress, including dealing with crowds while shopping, traveling to see family, or seeing certain people that cause stress.

Here are just a few things that I find to be stressful:

Having Too Much to Do

Another thing that the holidays do is cause stress from simply not having the time to do everything. This is so me right now. Several invitations, family coming over, planning menus, ugh! I typically end up with invitations to 3 different parties on the same night or I need to figure out how I am going to cook a big holiday meal for the family while also trying to run errands, keep your kids occupied. In this respect, there comes a time when you are stretching yourself too thin and simply need to say no to some people. It isn’t ideal, but you can’t do everything all on your own. Family gatherings at our house have are a lot easier when we do pitch ins. Let the guest chose what they will be responsible for (the recipe that they make best), then you can provide the meat or an item that you like to cook.

Monitoring Food and Alcohol

Food and alcohol are in abundance at holiday parties. With a full social calendar you can easily gain 10 pounds over the break if you aren't careful. With so many sweets and desserts in abundance, I notice I become more moody if I consume too much. This can be the same with alcohol. We often forget that this is a depressant and can disrupt sleep. It's fine to have in moderation but be mindful of how much you consume.

The Financial Aspects

Naturally, one of the biggest stresses with the holidays is what it is going to do to your bank account. There are a lot of different expenses to be aware of during the holidays, from buying gifts, to planning a party, paying for travel, or buying a new outfit and getting your hair done for a big holiday party. It can help if you start planning well before the holidays begin by putting aside a little bit of money from every paycheck so that by the time holiday shopping begins, you already have what you need in your savings account and don’t have to stress quite as much about it.

I started to feel much better after I sat down and figured out what was going on. Hopefully you are having a great holiday season. Don't let the planning and festivities stress you out. Enjoy the food, fun and fellowship. Quickly identify if you are stressed or unusually moody. Take time to journal, meditate or just have some alone time.

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