source: nypost.com
source: thoughtco.com
source: thejournal.ie
source: celebrationjoy.com

5 Tips for Dealing with Holiday Season Stress

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Finding yourself uninterested despite the beautiful decorations, religious and cultural traditions, and time you'll spend with your faves? The time of year that uplifts and brings happiness is here again, but the holidays don’t always deliver the overcoming joy that you’ve come to expect tied with a bright red bow. When you consider the sales from your favorite spots, killin' your aunt's famous recipe, and deciding what to gift your sweat sister, sometimes the things that should excite us bring the most stress. Instead of feeling cheerfulness, you may feel increased pressure to fulfill expectations, making the holidays seem like a burden instead of a time to celebrate, relax and spread love. If you've been feeling like you're over it, but want to get in the spirit, try these five tips:  
 

1. Make a Plan

Planning is a huge part of the holidays. Sometimes it creates a long to-do list, and without proper planning that list can negatively impact your holidays. If you want to go on vacation, give yourself time to arrange dates and work around schedules. Planning isn’t only restricted to vacations. Decorating and shopping also requires some organization and prioritizing, so think through your needs and give yourself a week or two of buffer time.  

2. Don't Overthink Gifts

Since it's the season of giving, there can be a lot of weight placed on buying the perfect gifts. Sometimes loved ones convey a message of the ideal gift they must have, which you may take on as an unwanted expectation. Don’t feel like you need to buy the most expensive gift. Simple, thoughtful gifts usually have more meaning than the pricey items you were thinking about buying, and they resonate with the receiver. 

3. Don't Flip Out Over Food

 

According to Shape, many people struggle with “spending time with friends and family members who peer pressure them into eating when they're not hungry or eating too much.” We get it. With the variety of foods and desserts at every function, it would almost be impossible not to indulge at all. Don’t feel pressured to eat big portions. Keep it cute and polite with a simple, “no, thank you,” and stick to small bites.

4. Mix and Mingle

 

The holidays aren’t meant to be spent alone, so if you can, carve out time to celebrate with friends and family. Also, consider volunteering in any form to experience the true joy of the season. While you might think your service is only benefitting the organization, giving back can help uplift your mood, too. 

5. Pass on Perfection

Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect holiday, so don’t get hooked on those false ideas we see depicted on TV, in movies or on the 'gram. Do only what you can handle. Don’t push yourself to put out every decorative item if your schedule doesn't allow. Don’t try to control everything. Allow the holidays to take their course, so you can enjoy yourself. And don’t worry about things being perfect. Relax and be satisfied with what you can do. 
 
Have any advice on how you're dealing with stress this holiday season? Share it with us in the comments below!
SOUL REPORTER | Shelby Wingate is a rising senior at Whitefield Academy in Mableton, Georgia. The extremely competitive athlete plays basketball and runs track for her school. While she does love sports, Shelby uses her competitive nature to excel in academics and will apply that same drive when she attends college to major in Journalism or Communications and minor in French.