Holiday Stress…and What to Do About It!

by Chanin Storm


Holidays! In particular all the winter Holidays! The lyrics that this is the “most wonderful time of the year” has created the basis for the idea that this a joyous and fun time with family and friends, right? Are you sure about that? Of course you are, just as I am, I think. At least that is what people in the media and in our lives tell us.


I’m not so sure though! My holiday times are crazy with the fears and stress that I don’t feel any other time during the year! Sure, in the end, I get about 4 hours of this noted bliss. Yes, we get to spend a few hours on one day with family and friends, but…WOW!!! The effort that it takes to be able to realize any of these wonderful possibilities is stressful.


In fact, I believe that holidays could be more stressful than almost any other time of the year. So much goes into making sure everyone feels loved. We watch the clocks to make sure we are on time getting to places or having food on the table for guests that we may not have slept the night before. The hours and hours after work and on weekends putting up those wonderful decorations that may be appreciated for 3 or 4 hours takes a toll. And the gifts!  Have you ever been given the less than 8 hours notice of an extra guest and then after everything else was ready, headed to the local 24-hour Walmart at 3am trying to get a gift for that unexpected someone that isn’t cheesy? Have you ever counted gifts to make sure siblings are equally compensated in gifts?


All of this leads to what? STRESS!!


The truth is that even though all this is stressful, most of us love giving the gifts, cooking the food, decorating the home, and spending time with family and friends. Unfortunately at the end of the day, we feel exhausted and used up. This is not a feeling we should have during the most wonderful time of the year. As with any other time, we have to be a little selfish and think of ourselves…self-care!  


This is the time of year that, more than any other, you have to take time for yourself. You have to give yourself some down time to recharge yourself and destress from the regular work days and the crazy, hectic festive days. Relaxing and destressing are very personal and no one can tell you how to relax. You have to find that yourself, but the important part is to separate yourself from the stress. This could be getting a massage, attending an event by yourself, trying flotation therapy, working on your meditation, visiting local salt caves, hiking, reading, antique shopping (by yourself), visiting that museum you always wanted to go to, checking out the Botanical Gardens in DC, finding a new hobby, or  watch the stars at a planetarium! The possibilities are endless.


Don’t say you don’t have time, because you do! You have to make time for yourself! Show yourself some love, put the watch and to do list aside, and give yourself this gift. Make this a wonderful, stress-free winter holiday season!