The holiday season is often filled with fun and family, but it can also be stressful. A 2018 survey found that an overwhelming majority (88%) of those surveyed feel stressed when celebrating the holidays.
Family dynamics play a major factor in how much you and your loved ones may enjoy the holidays. Here are 10 ways to manage family-related stress and help you experience more joy with your family.
#1 Talk in advance to set expectations around gift-giving.
When spending on holiday gifts is uneven or gifts are unexpected, it can lead to awkward and even unhappy moments with family. Have a brief conversation up front to set the ground rules and agree on a spending range. For many families, drawing names and giving to just one person offers a way to reduce financial strain while others choose experiences they can do together, like seeing a local theater show, and eliminate gifts altogether.
Conversation starter: “We thought it would be helpful to make a plan for gifts this year, as we need to stick to a budget. Can we agree on a spending limit?”
#2 Be selective with activities and protect your time to do what matters most to you.
There are so many activities and events this time of year. To keep from running yourself ragged going from commitment to commitment, be selective when deciding what to attend. Are you attending out of obligation or genuine excitement?
Tip: If you are not ready to eliminate a commitment altogether, try alternating. Maybe you host that holiday party every other year or send holiday cards to half your list one year and half the next.