Therapy Thursday: Why are holidays so stressful?

Around this time of year, our stress is usually at an all time high. Why do we let ourselves get so stressed out, and how can we prevent it?

There are many causes for the increase in stress - the weather is changing, family is coming into town, many people have cook and host for family members, accommodate people in our homes, decorate, send holiday cards, buy and wrap gifts and spend time with family members in larger quantities than normal, mourning the loss of those who are no longer here and some people feel pressured to impress their family who are still here. Also, having complicated familial relationships can cause stress as well.

Here are some tips to avoid or combat stress and to prevent confrontation between family members:

1. Stick to a budget - don't try to impress your family with presents that are too expensive for your budget

2. Plan ahead and stay organized

3. Learn to say no when needed

4. Put aside differences with your loved ones

5. Don't abandon healthy habits for holiday meals

6. Reach out for help

7. Remember to care for yourself

8. Be respectful of the home, time and feelings of others

9. Schedule sleep and exercise

10. Avoid talking about politics or other controversial topics with family

Happy Holidays to you and yours!