Seasonal Stress

Avoiding what can dampen the holiday spirit

Regardless of your current stage of life, holidays bring stress—if you allow it.  You can avoid it, though, if the right methods are utilized. 

Single people (especially women) often stress out about buying the right clothing for holiday parties in an effort to impress their date or hoped-to-be date, often straining their budget to do so. A simple black dress with alternating accessories for women and a basic dark colored suit for men will get you by in all cases.

Homemade gifts have special meaning.  Consider preparing a decorated box of your boyfriend or girlfriend’s favorite treats. Making handmade Christmas greeting cards or scrapbooking are other ways to take it easy on the budget and create togetherness.

For singles hoping to meet someone, church, school, gym, work, and volunteering are good options.  All these entities usually celebrate Christmas with special events. 

The busy parent (especially the working mom) is perhaps the most stressed out person at holiday time. The “to do” list can seem insurmountable.  In addition to being a parent, there is housekeeping, cooking, shopping, parties, and budget planning. But there is hope!

Don’t do it alone.  Enlist the help of your friends or family.  It not only helps you, but puts them in the Christmas spirit and teaches responsibility. Most importantly, take care of yourself by eating healthily, getting as much rest as possible, and avoiding too much alcohol.  Overworked people are often physically or mentally affected. 

Driven professional people often wait until the last minute. A busy real estate agent was once known to do her shopping and buy her turkey late on Christmas Eve—talk about being stressed out.

Widows and widowers have many adjustments to make, which takes time.  Christmas, especially the first one following a spouse’s death, can be depressing and sad.  Accept reality and make the most of it.  Surround yourself with family or friends—or be someone’s family and friends. Even though it’s time consuming to take decorations down, decorate your house. Don’t keep feelings in—talk about it.  Volunteering by helping others can make you forget about yourself.  Give freely, but be careful not to exceed your budget.  After-Christmas money matters can also be depressing. 

Conclusively, as the holidays apply to people in general, the best ways to avoid holiday stress are to have a loving heart and be grateful for life. We can always look around and find those less fortunate than we are. Reach out and help those people.  “No good deed goes unpunished.” 

Learn how to appreciate and express happiness.  Quality of life is not determined by our bank accounts or the clothes we wear, but rather by a peaceful and joyous attitude. 

Holiday stress is not showered upon us; it is manufactured by our losing perspective of what Christmas is all about.


By Minnie Payne

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