Every year, the holiday season of Christmas and New Year is one of the most popular holiday in the planet. But at the same time the festivity is also creating additional stress for each and every one of us. Some stronger than the other. If you have not really feel it, then lucky you, that’s mean you are fully ready for Christmas more than every one else. But if you do feel it, don’t worry with a little trick it become much easier.
Christmas Stresses Among Us
Here are the most common Christmas Stress in no particular order:
- Financial Stress: extra budget for those gifts, go out and everything else.
With Christmas literally about giving, there will be upward pressure on your budget to buy gift for colleague, family, friend, neighbor or even someone you don’t even like. Can you imagine how stressful it is if somebody buy you a present and you don’t do the same ? And not only that, with all those party and gathering, there will be extra transportation cost, extra laundry for clothes, extra parking, tips or even you need to buy that extra party dresses… Fine if you have extra money to spend, but if budget is tight, this can be quite stressful
- Psychological Stress: burden to always looks happy.
In the office, school, party or function, during this special holiday season, there will be expectation that people need to be happy. Well like it or not, that the “norm”. So rather than take the risk to get into awkward conversation about what’s wrong with you, some people will just have to put a fake happy face and attitude. Of course this is quite a stress…
- Convenience Stress: habit that need to be temporary changed.
Human is a creature of habit and in general will have some resistant for a change. One of the convenience that give you a problem will be child care center / day care. They are closed during the season, either 2 weeks, 3 weeks or few days, the old good child care that you go to every day to drop your young one is no longer there. Or nanny or friends that can help you baby sit for some errand or quick movie time, is not there at these time, they are having their holiday as well. How can you survive without them ?
And in Sydney in particular, there will be (almost) no shop open on Christmas Day. You have to make sure you have everything you need at home.
- Fitness Stress: pressure to looks good and fit in Christmas
Especially in Southern Hemisphere, where Christmas is in summer, everybody want to look not too fat, not too thin and everything in between. Well, depper than that, you recognized that there will be “extra Christmas kilo” that you will pickup along the holiday. And whether you do it preemptively or do it later, you remember how hard to chuck that extra kilos away. Adding the extra stress on your shoulder.
- Environmental/Cultural Stress: those cultural or environmental pressure that make you do extra things.
This is getting popular: imagine all of your neighbor put up a xmas-decoration with all those flashy light at night. And only your place doesn’t have one. Hwy, where is your christmast spirit ? All the neighbor scream. Then half hearted you will do the same putting extra work for your self and your wallet. Found something similar ? Christmas tree too small, no new dresses, no Christmas holiday, not painting the fence, going to church, etc
Yes, you will say it, the solution will be easier said than done – and I guess I agree with that. But either this year or next year, sooner or later you will have to confront it. So, here some suggestions for your consideration;
- Shop early. Don’t wait until December to start buying those present. Buy online, usually much cheaper but you need to wait for the shipment that’s why you need to shop early.
- Stick with your budget, don’t over spend. It might be awkward that you are not giving a present to certain somebody as last year, but they will live with it. Don’t worry.
- Don’t try to impress everybody. The most important person: your spouse/partner, your children, your parents, and best friends. Buy them some gift but not the rest of the world (unless you have extra money, of course)
- Just do whatever you really want to do (OK, with exception if your boss say so). If you do something, that’s because you want to do it. Otherwise, grump and stress will be all around.
- Control your eating: do not over eat. Don’t pickup those extra kilo so you don’t need to do extra exercise to put that away. Be responsible, if you want extra eating, then extra exercise is the consequences you need to bear.
- But happiness if not a function of money. Happiness is where your expectation is fulfill. If you expect too much and it didn’t come as you wish then you will not be happy. So, how to go about it ? Lower your expectation. This is a teaching from the great Mahatma Gandhi (“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony“), happiness is all about managing your expectation, no more, no less.
- Be smart and prepared most things well in advanced. If you have enough time, you will have some way to outsmart the problem, but if you are in a rush, the solution will be whatever the first think pop up on your head (and that could be expensive)
Okay then. Hope this is not too late to help you with some ideas to overcome your Christmas stress.
Season’s greetings !