Fall 2014 Edition
Preventing Holiday Burnout
If you are prone to experiencing holiday burnout, consider the suggestions below to lessen holiday stress:
1. Develop realistic expectations about the holidays. It is easy to expect too much of the holidays. When we have expectations which are not met (regardless if they are realistic or not), we may feel disappointed, upset or worse. This contributes to holiday stress. Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable by not trying to make the holidays "perfect." Think about what was stressful last year and how that could be different this year.
2. Do more of what you enjoy. Which parts of the holiday season do you want in your life? Which parts would you prefer to do without? Figure out what you want and plan for more of that part in your life.
3. Set boundaries and limits. Be realistic about what you actually have time for. Make a list and prioritize the most important activities. Always think before committing to any responsibility or social event. Learn to say "no" politely but firmly to keep your holiday time manageable.
4. Develop a holiday budget that is based on what you can afford. Remind yourself that it is possible for your family to have memorable holiday experiences without spending a great deal of money. Be sure to include all holiday spending in your budget, including big family dinners, wrapping paper, decorations, parties, etc. Stick to your budget.
5. Plan ahead for potential problems. Make a list of the problems that continually happen every year. Then, plan ahead how you are going to handle them. If your brother and brother-in-law have never gotten along and frequently argue at holiday gatherings, plan ahead how you will respond to this situation.