Want to Reduce Holiday Stress? 6 Ways to Manage Your Expectations

Reducing holiday stress

The key to managing stress during the holidays is managing your own expectations! You need to manage your expectations with your time, with your budget, with your family and your added activities in your schedule.

“A common source of stress is unrealistic expectations,” according to Dr. David Posen in a Canadian Journal of Continuing Medical Education article.

You can often get stressed because of how you want a situation to turn out instead of accepting what is happening.

Here's an example. If you're having a holiday party your heart is set on a specific type of appetizer and the store is out of that appetizer, don't have a melt down. Buy something different. It won’t ruin your entire meal.

How you manage your expectations will dictate your level of stress.

Here are six great ideas on how to manage your expectations around common holiday situations.

1) Set budget limits for your holiday shopping.

Setting a limit keeps you from feeling financially stressed during the holidays. It will also keep you from worrying all during the month of January!

Figure out what you can afford to spend on gifts or whatever you do for the holidays. Then create your list of people that you want to share with during the holidays.

Finally, negotiate your list with your budget. Remember it is the thought that counts, so come up with creative gifts that fit your budget. People always appreciate thoughtful gifts and activities.

This is a great idea to share with your kids too. Sit down with your kids and create a list for their friends so they can learn the value of money as well.

2) Don't forget to create a grocery shopping list too!

Food can be expensive when you're creating your shopping list for the holidays. If you are having a party or dinner create a budget for food and alcohol.

If you are having a big gathering consider asking people to bring sides, wine or dessert to off-set the cost of the dinner. People love to showcase their special recipes and get compliments from others.

Reducing the amount of work that you have to do for the big dinner or party will reduce your stress as well.

3) Perfection is NOT a reasonable expectation.

Perfection is another name for stress! It is very rare that things are perfect. Perfection is an ideal that we have in our mind but others don’t have in theirs. So if you let go of the idea that you have to get the perfect gift or make the perfect meal you will reduce your stress tremendously.

Instead, set the intention to have thoughtful gift or a cozy fun meal. Those are achievable and you and everyone else will be happier for it.

4) Accept people for who they are.

If you know that your uncle Jack is always an hour late don’t get stressed when he is an hour late! Know that he will be late and either set dinner out later or start without him.

During the holiday season people often want the perfect family and they are disappointed with their own family. If you accept each person for who they are then you won’t be stressed when they do what they do.

Another thing to think about is staying away from people who upset you or make you feel crazy. Don’t visit the neighbor who is always rude to you. Cross that idea off your listt and release the stress of it all.

5) Don’t skip meals preparing for the big meal.

Stress is not just mental, it is physical too. When you skip meals you cause stress to your body and as a response, your body releases stress hormones.

Also when you skip meals you become more irritable and have less patience. Eating regular meals reduces all of this stress!

6) Cultivate gratitude and thanksgiving for what you have.

Bei aware of all of your blessings and share with others how grateful you are to have them in your life. This will reduce your stress and increase your peace.

Psychologist Dr. Richard Bedrosian, Ph.D., Director of Behavioral Health for Wellness & Prevention, Inc. said, “In the last 20 to 30 years there’s a whole science called positive psychology that’s grown up that actually has begun to verify that this is a healthy thing for people to do.”

Everyone loves to feel appreciated, and it becomes contagious.

Most of the holidays at this time of the year have some spiritual or religious significance. Focus on the deeper spiritual meaning of the holidays and have gratitude for sharing your good fortune or love.

This will contribute to your experience of a stress-free holiday season. Keep it simple and enjoy your holiday season!

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Dae
Naturopathic Physician
Diabetes Ambassador Champion, National Capital Area Region

This Article

  • Improved My Health
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Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.com

Dr. Dae's book: Daelicious! Recipes for Vibrant Living can be purchased @www.healthydaes.com

Dr. Dae's Bio:

Dr. Daemon Jones is your diabetes reversal, hormones, metabolism and weight loss expert. Dr. Dae is a naturopathic doctor who treats patients all over the country using Skype and phone visits. Visit her or schedule a free consultation at her website www.HealthyDaes.com

Sources:
16 Ways To Beat Holiday Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2014.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2013/12/13/16-ways-to-beat-ho...

Stress Management for Patient and Physician. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2014.
http://www.mentalhealth.com/mag1/p51-str.html#Head_1

Reviewed December 22, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

This article was originally published on www.EmpowHer.com.