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Avoiding Stress during the Coming Winter Holidays

The first thing that makes me stressed about the coming winter holidays is how you name it. It makes me stressed for nothing, as during Christmas’ holidays there are many more causes of stress than how you call it!

For years in Europe we have been debating on the politically correctness of how we call Christmas Holidays. Apparently, calling them like that is not respectful towards other religions. Then, they recommended “Winter Holidays” but also “Festive Season”.

In spite of the fact that I am not particularly devoted to Catholicism, the religion of my country and the one I grew up with, I like Christmas Holidays very much. They remind me of my childhood when I used to wait for Midnight to open the presents with my family. Now that I am an expat, I like going back home at Christmas time, because I like to share this peaceful time with my dearest ones. However, I can understand that it can turn out in a stressful period. Buying presents at the last minute, preparing dinner for the Christmas’ Eve or lunch (or both, as we do in my family, not to miss anything…). Wishing Merry Christmas to all your relatives and friends, hoping not to forget anyone.

Therefore, throughout the years I found 5 solutions that help me to keep a positive mind-set and also You enjoy myself. You may try to follow these tips for coping with some of the stress that the coming Holidays can cause.

  1. Reach out to the loved ones

Family and friends back home may want to spend time with you during the Holidays, and expect a visit. You can try your best to keep in touch – a phone conversation or spending a few minutes chatting with a loved one can make a big difference, and lift both your and their spirit. And you will not feel guilty.

2. Make the most of it

Adjusting to traditions that you don’ feel belong to you can bring up mixed feelings and emotional struggle. Try not to put yourself under too much pressure. Embracing the new, while maintaining a sense of your own traditions can help you feel better.

3. Don’t let the publicity affect you

You may feel surrounded by images and ideas of what the perfect Holidays should look like – but the truth is that Holidays can be stressful emotionally and financially. Don’t let the media get into you and avoid comparing yourself to unrealistic depictions. The happy family is your family not the one advertised.

4. Seek support

If you are going through difficult situations, such as grieving, the loss of a loved one or dealing with the break of a relationship, you can be particularly vulnerable and experience further emotional stress during Christmas time. It’s important for your not to ignore your feelings. Reaching out for support from specialists or counselling sessions can help you analyse your feelings and cope with overwhelming emotional struggle. You can find several counselling on line 24/7.

5. Find your balance

Take time to reflect and think about what works best for you. Whether you can or want to visit relatives in other cities or spend the festive season in your neighbourhood must be in tune with your personal priorities and needs. Finding the balance that is right for you is essential for your mental health.

I hope these tips will help you to cope with some of the stress that Christmas may cause you, if you also like to celebrate it.

I am going to take a break to spend some time with my family and friends during Christmas. Look for next post in 2022. Meanwhile, enjoy your time!

person pouring wine on glass
Photo by Nicole Michalou on

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