Managing Holiday Stress

btn download orangeAlthough it’s easy to envision a marvelous, relaxed holiday season full of pageantry, positivity, and perfect pies, this is not what the splendor of the season always delivers. For many, this time of year is the most stressful.

If you feel stressed out by the thought of holiday chores, obligations, and the entire ohana dropping in for a spell—or if this year’s circumstances make the holiday season difficult for whatever reason—start preparations now to manage your holiday stress.

Along with good tidings come high expectations based on the commercialization of the holiday season, past childhood memories we may long to duplicate, and the expectations of others.

If family members count on your “holiday magic” to make every year special—the cooking, cleaning, baking, decorating, and gift-wrapping—you face a bigger challenge letting go or finding balance.

Here’s how to cope better with expectations, demands, and added pressure during the holidays.

Managing Holiday Stress
Decision Time

Make a decision to take charge and tackle holiday stress. This mentally prepares you to enjoy the time while facing demands of the season with better endurance.

Your Priorities

Decide on your priorities to make the season meaningful. Did you miss an important event last year because the neighbors next door had their open house on the same day? The idea here is to plan a few “non-negotiable” events for yourself.

Now the Rest

What activities are important to your brood this year? Seek to trim the “idea tree” to reduce stress from trying to fit it all in. A family meeting to gather ideas can work, and chances are activities you thought everyone still wanted are no longer of interest.

Avoid the Rush

Are holiday lights on the house critical? If yes, go for it, but if it seems more like a “chore” than a pleasurable task, that’s a clue about its priority and importance to you. Activities that feel like chores get delayed. Pay attention to procrastination. It is insight to help you decide whether it’s thumbs up or down on something that seems desirable.

Fight the Blues

If the holidays are a sad time of year because of difficult memories or because a loved one can’t be there, then develop a personal intervention strategy. Volunteering for a local charity is an interactive experience, and those who’ve tried it claim it works to lift one’s mood. You’ll feel empowered and more positive, and the experience of helping others anchors you to a memory that lasts.

Navigating Family Conflict

If you can’t avoid holiday gatherings with family members who experience feuds and conflicts, try discussing with ohana your desire to avoid conflict. Be up front and ask that differences be set aside. Older adults criticizing teenagers is a famous trigger. So are statements from in-laws that appear critical, interfering, or meddlesome. Self-awareness is power, so you stand a good chance of at least minimizing this behavior.

Take Care of Yourself

What improves your mood—exercise, positive affirmations, alone time? During the year, have you been promising to do something for yourself, but keep putting it off? Do it. The holiday season is a perfect time to reaffirm your love, not only for those you care about but also for yourself.

EAP Can Help

Holiday stress affects everyone differently, so suggestions here may not match what’s unique for you. Don’t face the stress alone. Instead, talk to your organization’s employee assistance program. The EA professional will help you find the resilience and strength you need to face any challenge the holidays may bring.

Call us for support at (808) 597-8222.

waikiki panorama left

Prospective
Customers

If you don’t have an EAP, want to understand how EAP can help your bottom line and provide a positive ROI, or want to know more about us and how we’re different, we can help!

Read more

waikiki panorama left

Current
Employer Groups

If you want to know how to get the most value from your EAP, how to best use our services, or how to refer an employee who could benefit from our services, we can help!

Read more

Supervisors

Supervisors
and Managers

If you want to know how to refer an employee who could benefit from our services, how EAP can support your career, and get tools to make your job easier, we can help! 

Read more

Employees Photo 224x155

Employees

If you want to know what your EAP benefit is, how it can help you, the kinds of services you and your family can get, how to use it, and make sure it’s all free and confidential, we can help!

Read more