As an adult, the holidays offer a much different experience than when you are a kid. It might still be magical, but it can also be incredibly stressful, busy, and overwhelming. Here are some reasons why saying no and managing your own mental health is vital during the holidays to reduce stress.
Why Do the Holidays Cause Stress?
It is not a mystery that the holidays cause stress, but knowing exactly why or what is causing it is something else entirely. While this changes for each person, this explains some of the more common reasons people tend to get more stressed during the holidays.
Summary of What Causes Stress During the Holidays
First, let’s look at a summary of what might cause stress during the holidays. Many people get stressed from planning a party, cooking meals, or even attending a party if you get confused about what to wear or have social anxiety.
Other people get more stressed about gaining weight due to the sweets, the financial aspects of the holidays, and shopping for gifts. There are also other types of holiday stress, including dealing with crowds while shopping, traveling to see family, seeing certain people that cause stress, or even not knowing how to properly tip during this time of year.
The Financial Aspects
Naturally, one of the biggest stresses with the holidays is what it is going to do to your bank account. There are a lot of different expenses to be aware of during the holidays, from buying gifts, to planning a party, paying for travel, or buying a new outfit and getting your hair done for a big holiday party.
It can help if you start planning well before the holidays begin by putting aside a little bit of money from every paycheck so that by the time holiday shopping begins, you already have what you need in your savings account and don’t have to stress quite as much about it.
Having Too Much to Do
Another thing that the holidays do is cause stress from simply not having the time to do everything. You might end up with invitations to 3 different parties on the same night or you need to figure out how you are going to cook a big holiday meal for your family while also trying to run errands, keep your kids occupied, and help your neighbor with her party planning. In this respect, there comes a time when you are stretching yourself too thin and simply need to say no to some people. It isn’t ideal, but you can’t do everything all on your own.
Learn How to Say No
A lot of holiday stress stems from trying to do too much around this time of year. You not only have all of your regular responsibilities, but then you are hosting parties, helping others to plan their own parties, going shopping, decorating the house, and trying to plan fun holiday activities with your family.
When you combine with the financial stress of the holidays, it can be a lot to handle all at once. There are times when you can’t possibly take on anything else and you just need to say no to certain things. Here are some helpful tips for learning to do that.
Be Honest About Your Reasons For Turning it Down
To start with, be honest and upfront right away if someone asks you to handle something over the holidays and you don’t think you can do it. Whether it will cost too much money, too much time, or too much energy during the holidays, you are not forced to do anything you don’t want to do. If you have enough to deal with and someone asks you to host a party in your home, be honest and let them know you can’t do it this year. You can be as open with them as you need to be until they fully understand why you are saying no.
Offer Up Better Alternatives
In some cases, it can be helpful not to just say no and walk away, but to come up with some better alternatives. Perhaps someone else in the family has a big house and you know they don’t have any big plans yet for the holidays. Ask if that person is able to host the party this year at their house, then you can host the next party when you aren’t dealing with all of the overwhelming holiday stress. This can help to ease the blow a little bit.
Agree to Help With Smaller Things
Another way to turn them down is not to say no completely to helping, but just to the larger task, such as hosting a party or helping to plan a gift exchange. If this is a bit too much, then maybe you can offer to bring food to the party if someone else hosts, or you can pitch in with a little bit of money. Think of something smaller you can help with that also allows you to reduce the overall amount of tasks you will have to do during the holidays.