Guidance for Holiday Stress: Planning for Peace and Balance
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Guidance for Holiday Stress: Planning for Peace and Balance

December 04, 2023 by Pathforward
The holidays can be a lot, but with some planning, you can manage holiday stress and enjoy the season.
The holidays can be a lot, but with some planning, you can manage holiday stress and enjoy the season.

The holidays can be the most magical time of the year — but they can also be the most stressful. If your holiday cheer level feels a little more "no, no, no" than "ho, ho, ho," know you're not alone. Many people feel extra stress around the holidays, whether it's due to finances, family dynamics, or a never-ending schedule of office parties, happy hours, and other holiday-themed activities.

Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce your holiday stress levels, even if you can't get out of the awkward get-together with your in-laws who ask way too many personal questions. We've put together this guide with helpful advice on managing holiday stress so you can enjoy the season and look toward the next year. For more guidance about navigating the holidays, schedule a reading with a PathForward Psychic for emotional support and advice.

Set Boundaries

Are you a chronic people-pleaser, constantly going along with others to keep the peace? Give yourself permission to say no this holiday season. Setting boundaries is one of the best ways to keep your holiday stress levels in check. Don't think of boundaries as a wall between you and other people. Instead, think of them as a tool you can use to protect your well-being and mental health.

To set boundaries, consider what's most important to you this holiday season, then prioritize those areas above all others. That might look like saying no to parties you don't want to attend or telling a family member you won't discuss when you and your husband plan to have children, thank you very much. Be kind but firm when communicating your boundaries to others, and know that you're taking an important step in prioritizing your emotional well-being above the expectations of others.

Prioritize Your Schedule

If you have 1,023,304 holiday events on your schedule this year, this tip is for you. You can't do everything — nor should you. Instead, prioritize your schedule, and only commit to events that matter to you. For everything else, decline invitations respectfully, and if you feel compelled to explain, mention that you have a full schedule this holiday season.

As you manage your holiday planning, also take time to consider why you feel the need to meet certain obligations. For example, do you enjoy sending out Christmas cards, or do you only do it because you think it's expected? Make time for what's important to you, and eliminate the other holiday tasks that only fill you with stress, not cheer.

Find Time To Pause

The holidays can feel like a sprint to the end of the year. Amid the chaos of the season, find time to pause. Meditation can be a great way to quiet your mind each day. Try waking up a few minutes earlier and starting your day with meditation. If you've never done it before, you can use apps or online videos to guide your practice. Meditation allows you to clear your mind and focus your thoughts on the present, letting go of the holiday stress you might be experiencing.

Besides meditation, there are plenty of other ways you can carve out some time for yourself each day. These include:

  • Journaling.
  • Going for walks.
  • Listening to music.
  • Doing deep breathing exercises.

Engage in Self-Care

It might include the word self, but self-care is anything but selfish. During the holidays, it's common (especially for women) to put others before yourself, whether it's your children, your spouse or partner, or your extended family. This holiday season, commit to engaging in self-care whenever you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed.

There are different areas of self-care, and this practice can look different for everyone. For you, self-care might be taking an everything shower with all your really good products, or maybe it's watching a cheesy Hallmark movie by yourself with a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine à la Olivia Pope. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it's something that nurtures your well-being and makes you feel centered.

Move Your Body

Just because your New Year's resolution is to exercise more doesn't mean you have to wait until January to start. Your physical health has a deep connection to your spiritual, mental, and emotional health, too. When you move your body, you can improve your mood and lower your stress levels. Choose movement that you enjoy, whether it's yoga, swimming, or running. Schedule this time into your calendar to make it a priority, just like all your other commitments.

Look Forward to the New Year

It's easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Before you know it, you're ringing in the new year feeling drained and depleted. This holiday season, make time to close the chapter on the year and look forward to the next one. Cozy up next to the fire with your journal and reflect on the past year. Celebrate your achievements and acknowledge areas where you fell short of your goals (without judgment, of course).

After a period of reflection, start planning for the year ahead. What goals do you have for the new year? How do you want to feel at this time next year? Write down your intentions for the next 12 months, and consider how you can make them a reality. By finding time for this introspection, you can set yourself up for success in the new year. It's also a good reminder that the holidays are simply one season of life and not the be-all and end-all of your year.

If the holidays leave you feeling more beat up than the bad guys in "Home Alone," make some time to reflect and reset this season. By setting boundaries, prioritizing your schedule, and making time for self-care, you can manage your holiday stress and enjoy the season with your loved ones.

Need some more advice on navigating the holidays? At PathForward, we can help. Our Psychic Advisors offer the support you need to survive the holidays with grace. Reach out or schedule a reading today to take the first step toward managing holiday stress this season.

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