The holiday season is upon us. For some of us this can bring a sense of looming stress. This time of year can be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends; however most of us also feel a high level of stress during the holiday season. Finances and budgeting, hectic schedules and unmet expectations can all add to the stress. The following are some suggestions for reducing holiday stress and for getting the most pleasure out of the season:
- Be realistic – Responsibilities and time constraints are different for today’s families than they were in the past. Are your traditions still reasonable and meaningful to you? Let go of traditions that no longer fit your family’s beliefs, needs or interests. Consider altering some of your traditions, or starting new ones that are simpler, easier, and more in harmony with your lifestyle.
- Communicate – It’s easy to lose touch when everyone is so busy. Communicate with family and friends about your plans, hopes and expectations. Share your feelings of excitement (and frustration) with those you love. Phone or write loved ones that you won’t be able to see personally.
- Organize and prioritize – Create and maintain a list of things you need to do. You’ll feel good about the things you’ve accomplished as you cross them off your list. Adding new items to the list as they come up may help prevent a last minute crisis. As time and energy run out, eliminate non-essentials. Save your list as a reference for next year.
- Delegate – Stop by the bakery for “homemade” goodies. Invite friends over for “pot luck” – that way you won’t have to do all the cleaning, shopping, and cooking. Look at your “to do” list – are there things that could be accomplished by other family members?
- Just say “No” – Before you say “yes” to another obligation, look at your calendar, check your “to do” list, communicate with your family and then make your decision. Agreeing to help out may feel like the right thing to do in the moment, but it may leave you feeling overwhelmed later.
- Take care – The holidays can be a time of excess. Social events may run late into the evening, and we are constantly being offered wonderful things to eat and drink. We don’t want to miss a minute of the fun! However, with all the extra demands placed on us it is even more important that we nurture ourselves with proper nutrition, exercise, and plenty of rest.
If you would like further information on managing holiday stress, or to speak with an EAP counselor, please contact your confidential Employee Assistance Program at 303-982-0377 or visit our website
. Your EAP offers no-cost assistance to all Jeffco Public Schools employees, their family members over age 15, and retirees. “Confidential help from caring professionals…”