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Tips for How to Handle Holiday Stress

December 23, 2013

By J.P. McCormick, Summer Associate

Everyone loves the holidays. There is snow on the ground, and all the kids are home from school. The food is delicious, and the drinks are flowing. The decorations are up, and lights are shining on trees and in the windows of homes warmed by fires. Often times, this is what we recall when we think of holidays in the past. Preparing for the holidays, and dealing with this very hectic time of year is often different from what our memories would have us believe. Everyone at CLDDS can relate to dealing with the holiday chaos, so here are some helpful tips to help with the seasonal stress.

  1. Don’t isolate yourself. If you feel left out, then take the initiative and get out of your house. Reach out to friends or social groups. Find ways to get involved in the community and help those less fortunate. Drive around and check out the great decorations around you, or go somewhere to hear live holiday music. Personally, I love going to coffee shops and just people-watch the last minute holiday shoppers.
  2. Be realistic with your expectations. The holidays are rarely ever perfect, even if we do look back and think that they were. Traditions are likely to change as people change, so if something happens differently than the way it used to, try to be open to it; hold on to the ones that mean the most, but be open to starting new traditions. Everything does not have to be perfect, and you cannot control everything.  Aren’t a few of your favorite memories about when things went wrong, like burning the ham, the squirrel in the fresh cut tree, or buying someone the same gift two years in a row?
  3. Create and stick to a reasonable budget. Before going to the grocery store and buying presents, know what you can reasonably afford to spend, and stick to it. While it may sound cliché, money can’t buy happiness, so focus on spending time with family and friends instead of worrying if you bought enough gifts. If you think you are overextended, then suggest family gift exchanges, that way you only have to buy one person one gift.
  4. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. During the holidays we tend to overindulge, but consuming so many sweets and fatty foods can negatively affect moods. Try to remain physically active, stay well-rested, and temper how often you are eating sweets.
  5. Take a break and play a game. I know that you always have to make just one more dish, or wrap one present, but when surrounded by family or friends, take a break and play a game. It doesn’t matter if it is sledding, or a board game, or a Wii game that everyone can play, take a break and make some fun memories with the people around you.
  6. And always remember, friends don’t let friends drink eggnog alone (seasoned to taste with brandy, bourbon, or rum, as you see fit, and if you are over the age of 21).

These are just a few tips for how to deal with the holiday stress. If you have a helpful tip that works well for you, we would love for you to share it with us on Twitter @CLDDS, or on our Facebook page.

From all of us here at CLDDS, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.

J.P. McCormick is in his third year at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, where he is an Executive Editor for the University of New Hampshire Law Review. Upon finishing his third year of law school, J.P. intends to practice in New Jersey, and is interested in all aspects of civil law. You can follow him on Twitter @JP_McCormick.

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