When children think about Christmas or December in general, they think about Santa, presents, Christmas movies, carols and Christmas morning. Now, for adults it’s a little different. The holiday season involves hanging up Christmas decorations on the house, carrying heavy and expensive Christmas trees up the stairs, finding ways to buy presents while ALSO paying the bills, planning family gatherings with the in-laws you’re not so fond of, and making sure the Christmas cards are sent out on time.
Tis the season, right?
Christmas carols make everything seem so jolly when really the season can be less than glamorous. But we all know that there is a pretty good chance you threw out your back while you were ‘decking the halls with bells of holly’ and Oh Christmas Tree, after struggling with your lights, the last thing you bring is us is joy. Luckily in Hawaii we don’t have to deal with the freezing temperatures and buying those new snow tires but regular holiday stresses are still common. Now, we’re not being scrooges, we’re just saying what we’re all thinking. The holidays are stressful.
Let us help. Not only can OSR help by relieving your stress with our chiropractic care and massage therapy, we have some more info for you about the root of holiday stress. Maybe being aware of why you’re stressed is enough to help you avoid it.
Reasons for Holiday Stress
Cold Season: Whether you’re living in the snowy Rocky Mountains, or on the beach in Hawaii, December is the cold and flu season. The days are shorter, the nights longer, and tissues are on high demand. With your immune system down, and cold viruses floating around, sick season is inevitable. There is nothing like constant sniffling to cause extra stress for the holidays.
Unhappy Memories: Sometimes the memories that you have associated with the holidays are not always as sweet as you remember. If holidays are associated with a bad time in your life, whether the loss of a loved one or an inadequacy from childhood, the memories can come back. If this is the first Christmas after a large life event, such as divorce or losing your job, facing family and friends can be difficult and add stress to once simple interactions. Try not to dwell on the years failures and make sure that you are surrounded by people that love and appreciate you on the holidays.
Expectations: When you enter your adult life you remember Christmas being the happiest time of the year, but this year you’re having trouble getting in the spirit. This can add stress because you’re feeling guilty for not being festive, as well as the holidays aren’t living up to the hype you remembered. It is important that you have realistic expectations so that your family members aren’t letting you down. Voice the expectations to your family so that you don’t find yourself upset when they’re not living up to your expectations.
No Gift Budget: There is nothing worse than starting the New Year with hundreds of dollars on your credit card because of the holidays. It is important that you set a number limit for purchasing gifts for family and friends. With no holiday budget, it can be hard to maintain your bills while also buying friends and family their entire wish list. This aspect can cause an immense amount of stress. Having to cut back on holiday gifts because of your finances is another huge factor in stress as you can feel as if you are letting down your family. It is important to remember that the holidays are not about gifts and even the smallest and most inexpensive gift can put a smile on someones face.
-Overconsumption of alcohol during the holidays
-Tensions with relatives
-Being away from family or friends during the holidays
Get Control of the Holidays
One thing that can cause a lot of stress is when you feel as if you are not in control of your life. During the holidays that is common because of the traditions that you feel the need to keep up every single year. If you’re married, there is a good chance you spend Christmas trying to make sure you got enough time with all of your family members, jumping from house to house with hardly enough time to sit down. You know if you don’t make it to each house you will hear about it every day until next Christmas. Don’t want to go to your great aunt’s house for dinner this year? Simple DON’T go. If your holiday stress is based around anxiety of events like these, plan new events. It’s important to create your own traditions so that your holidays aren’t redundant and dreaded.
Leave the miracles to 34th street.
Don’t expect miracles to happen on Christmas. If your family is hostile every year and tensions are high, don’t expect them to change this year. There is a pretty good chance that if your family hasn’t been meshing together well lately, the holidays aren’t going to suddenly fix all of the problems. Christmas is not a time to try and fix family problems so don’t find yourself stressed out about how to get your mom and sister and to get along! Focus on your own well-being and help work on family issues some other time of the year.
Christmas movies are full of ‘perfect’ families and ‘perfect’ holiday dinners. We all know that this is far from realistic. With the divorce rate in America being 40-50%, most people are likely to have to deal with at least one split family during the holidays. Christmas dinner is no easy feat either. Don’t worry about making the world’s most perfect pecan pie. No one should spend their Christmas crying on the kitchen floor. Save yourself some stress and delegate foods to your guests or pick up some premade dishes to save you time and worry.
Happy > Stressed
Here are some ways to get happy this holiday season instead of breaking under the pressure of your holiday stress!
Exercise: Nothing is going to make you feel better than a nice run or a trip to the gym. Working out improves sleep and decreases anxiety. It also helps clear your mind and get you to focus about something else. Worried about seeing your in-laws? Go on a nice run the morning of and clear your mind. You’re likely to feel less worried when you’re done with your run.
Go outside! Even if you aren’t lucky enough to live in sunny Hawaii, make your way outside for some natural sunlight. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, the sun helps your skin get vitamin D which increases serotonin, the mood neurotransmitter! Aka: boosting your mood!
Make it an actual “silent night” and turn your phone on vibrate (or off!) There is no better time to put your phone away than a family dinner. Your phone can be distracting and cause you to miss quality family time. Your phone ringing off the hook can be a huge cause of stress, especially if you’re receiving emails from work. Simply shut it off for the day or keep it in your bag so you’re not tempted to look at it during Christmas dinner.
Citrus Everything: If you find yourself down in the dumps find yourself a bottle of citrus essential oils. If you are smelling orange, lemon, or grapefruit throughout the day you’re more likely to have a boosted feeling of well-being.
Get an adjustment! There is nothing better for stress than heading over to your favorite Kailua chiropractic care facility (OSR) and getting an adjustment right before the holidays. Helping your body relax will help relax your mind (this also goes for our massage therapy!). Give OSR a call if you want help with your holiday stress 808-488-5555!
We know that the holidays can be stressful, but there is no reason to let stress take control. There are plenty of ways to make this holiday season the happiest time of the year.
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