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Holiday Stress? Learn to Say No and Yes

It seems to go without saying that the holidays bring a unique stress all their own. There are the additional responsibilities of gift giving, obligations to attend parties and never mind coping with the heightened dysfunction of your family. Okay, maybe the last one is only true in my case. 🙂

What are my recommendations for coping with holiday stress?

First, learn to say no:

  1. Gift giving – don’t we have enough trinkets and baubles already? Why don’t we all call a truce on this particular tradition?
  2. Obligations to attend parties – if your heart is heavy with the idea of accepting a particular party invitation, decline it. You are not obligated to provide an excuse.
  3. Large traditional meals – how do these traditions start anyway? Why not make a new tradition of a simple, lighter fare or a pot luck arrangement so you can get out of the kitchen and spend time enjoying your company.
  4. Holiday Travel – travel is tough at any time but with the high amount of traffic and potential for incremental weather, it’s even more difficult. Why not arrange to see family or friends at other times of the year instead of now.
  5. Extensive Holiday Baking – My mother use to start in October to do all the baking required for Christmas. I bake one favourite item – short bread cookies.

Then, learn to say yes:

  1. Experiences – meet for quiet evenings with close friends, make it pot luck and enjoy the company.
  2. Gratitude – say thank you for all you have and share your gratitude with those you love; just maybe you won’t miss the gifts.
  3. Special Connections – call your loved ones or Skype with them, then have deep, meaningful conversations.
  4. Donations – time is often more important than money but money is good too.
  5. Activities – instead of spending time unwrapping presents why not go outside to enjoy nature or be active.

Question: How do you reduce the stress of the holiday season?

Cheers, Catherine, Location:Edmonton, AB


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