February 27, 2016 in Holiday Coping

Plan Ahead to Avoid HolidayStress

By Dr. Susan Rarick

The holiday season is upon us. While these can be fun times withlots of nostalgia and quality family interactions, they can also be filled withstress. One of the best ways to cope with this is to take a preventativeapproach. For example, if you experience stress about whether or not to buy agift for someone, why not ask the person ahead of time if you will beexchanging gifts with each other? Or better yet, try making a suggestion aboutwhat you could do to celebrate the occasion and honor your relationship.

If you are worried about where to spend the holidays or who toinvite to your gatherings, it can sometimes be helpful to have conversationswith the involved parties in advance. It helps to plan and coordinate whenpeople have multiple places to visit. Sometimes people’s feelings get hurt ifsomeone misses a gathering or has a get-together that overlaps with someoneelse’s party. So planning ahead can often prevent hurt feelings. Try not tolose sight of the wonderful components of the holiday season. Whether or notyou celebrate any holidays, it can be a joyous time of year. Even if you aregoing through a rough time, it might help to take a moment to think about whatyou have or those people and things for which you are thankful. Remember totake care of yourself first so that you can then be there for others in yourlife!