Can you deal with holiday stress?

Posted by Leticia, 15 Dec 07

"It's everyone's favorite time of the year...NOT!"

Got the holiday blues, dealing with holiday stress? And the seasons not close to being over? How do you handle all the merry and cheer when all you want to do is stay in bed with the covers over your head; while you have pleasant dreams of every holiday caroler suddenly coming down with a case of laryngitis?

This is Leticia and my family was never big on tradition, but that didn't stop me from wanting that for my own kids. We were actually doing very well for a while. Every Christmas Eve we would drive around looking at the lighting displays on the neighborhood houses and exchange one gift before midnight. Okay, so that's as far as we got. What I like most about the holidays is the opportunity to not have to do the same things the same way with the same people. But, that's just me.

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For the past two years I've been trying to convince my family to go on a cruise for the holidays. That way we don't have to do the whole, who's cooking, who's house are we going to, who's not going to have enough money after the holidays and complain about it until they do it all over again the next year...some refer to it as the holiday blues.

It never ever occurred to me that there were people out there that didn't enjoy the holidays, until I became involved with one. I didn't realize the influence that he's had on my life until one day (I don't even think it was November yet), I heard a Christmas song being played on the radio and I threw something at the radio and screamed out loud..."Oh, hell no...not yet!" I'm not ready to deck the halls, un-ravel the lights or decorate anything.

It's funny that two people with very similar childhoods could come out of those experiences with very different reactions and attitudes. He looks back and remembers the pain of "not having", not being able to give or of people eating and drinking too much. I remember the fun of looking for things around the house to wrap up to give to my mother. I recall the look in her eyes when she realized that she loved the gift so much because it was something that she already owned. I also enjoyed pretending that I wasn't an only child and instead of just me and my mom there was a table full of family eating and drinking too much... together.

It's my personal belief that sometimes you have to make your own happy memories. No, we can't erase the painful memories of our past. But, we can choose to focus on something else. Again this year I invite you all to reach out to someone that you know has a hard time around the holidays. It's not only the people that have little or no family around them.

If you are the one that suffers from pre or post holiday depression, outside of the obvious (talk to a professional), I suggest that you double up on the things that make you the happiest. If you normally get one massage get two or do two hours instead of one. If you love children and don't have any of your own, volunteer to read at local Children's Hospital's or volunteer with an organization that gives gifts to less fortunate kids or kids with a missing parent. If the opposite holds true, think ahead and book yourself on an adult-only cruise or into an adult-only resort. This may require some planning on your part, so think ahead.

Don't get caught up in what "others" think the holidays are about. You decide what makes you happy. You choose where you want to go and with whom you want to be with. I know that that's easy for this only child to say. But, don't think for a moment that there haven't been some pressures in my adult life with my family or in-laws wanting more time or all the time spent with them. Ultimately, you are the creator of your happiness. If the problem is that your mate wants something different that you...compromise.

Don't allow yourself to get caught up in the commercialization of the holidays. Take some time out to reflect and remember the meaning in the season, no matter what your beliefs are. Happy Holidays, may you find love happiness and good health waiting for you whenever you need them.

21 responses to "Can you deal with holiday stress?"

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  1.   outpass35 says:
    Posted: 25 Feb 08

    During the hoildays I made a choice that it would be a happy time for me and my three sons. Before all of that before the kids, I had an Aunt who did not like my husband because he was white she refuse to be in the same room with him and it was stressful for me until I started putting my family first and we did not invite her to our hoilday get together after about 4 years she came around and been around ever since. Even when we divorce she told him he was still part of the family and when we had a hoilday get together at her house she would invite him. The major stress was telling the present guy he was the ex husband!!

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  2.   Fala says:
    Posted: 14 Feb 08

    Holidays? what holidays? it seems like forever ago now.

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  3.   sweetnes20 says:
    Posted: 05 Feb 08

    glad the holidays are over.

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  4.   Fala says:
    Posted: 17 Jan 08

    Thanks Mossimo. I'm waiting!

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  5.   mossimo36 says:
    Posted: 14 Jan 08

    On my way to cheer Fala up!

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  6.   Fala says:
    Posted: 12 Jan 08

    Damn Mossimo, I thought it was just me!

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  7.   Cocokisses says:
    Posted: 11 Jan 08

    I joined a gym on the 4th of January. I have lost 5 lbs, and I'm thrilled about that. I think I will be happy to lose 1-2 a week, but I am not stressing about it. Just getting rid of the holiday weight gain for me is a great stress reliever in itself :)

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  8.   mossimo36 says:
    Posted: 10 Jan 08

    I've got the holidays are over and I'm ready for spring blues. Sorry for the loss Tiger

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  9.   Fala says:
    Posted: 08 Jan 08

    I'm sorry to hear about your loss Tiger. I hope you were able to enjoy yourself.

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  10.   tiger says:
    Posted: 05 Jan 08

    The holidays are hard since I lost someone very close to me this summer. As soon as Thanksgiving came, all I heard was 'Merry Christmas'. It made me so sad. So, this year to not feel the stress, I decided to make new traditions. Simple Christmas dinner, two styles of cookies, watch a non-Christmas movie and let the day pass.

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  11.   Jabali says:
    Posted: 05 Jan 08

    Another woe year of stress!...;(

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  12.   mossimo36 says:
    Posted: 04 Jan 08

    Got the post holiday Blues!!

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  13.   Fala says:
    Posted: 04 Jan 08

    Back to work after a way-too-short holiday. Talk about stress!!!!

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  14.   Cocokisses says:
    Posted: 01 Jan 08

    Hope everyone had a very safe holiday, and Happy New Year!

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  15.   mossimo36 says:
    Posted: 31 Dec 07

    Peace, love, and happiness to all

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  16.   lizzy2005 says:
    Posted: 29 Dec 07

    Happy Holidays to all!

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  17.   Fala says:
    Posted: 28 Dec 07

    I made it thru Christmas without strangling anyone - that must be a good sign. I hope everyone had a good one!

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  18.   Sharon says:
    Posted: 24 Dec 07

    Happy Holidays and A Happy New Year... Don't be stressed enjoy... Southern Smiles and world peace, Sharon

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  19.   Sharon says:
    Posted: 23 Dec 07

    I love the lights and the Christmas trees...I think there should be lights year round... Happy Holidays and Happy New Year Southern Smiles and World Peace, Sharon

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  20.   Fala says:
    Posted: 22 Dec 07

    What would the holidays be without stress? Can you imagine a year when you made it through the holidays without your family driving you stark raving nuts???? I mean that's what the holidays are all about - aren't they?

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  21.   Cocokisses says:
    Posted: 20 Dec 07

    I don't stress during the holiday season. If anything, I am at my happiest. I love this time of year when I am baking, decorating and just spreading Christmas cheer. On that note, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a prosperous New Year!

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