Living That BOUNCE Life

Living That BOUNCE Life

Living That BOUNCE Life

The holiday season is a time for family gatherings and spreading cheer. However, alongside the cheer, various holiday stressors can cast a shadow on the celebrations.

Braving the holiday rush.

The end-of-year holidays bring happiness to many, but the stress of the season can be overwhelming. The responsibilities of entertaining, shopping, traveling, and various other tasks can add extra pressure to an already busy schedule. If you feel stretched too thin, taking a moment to pause is beneficial. If you can, it’s a good idea to plan your menus and think about gift ideas well in advance. Create lists of needed items and allocate a few days to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything before braving the holiday rush.

In recent years, we’ve seen a growing influx of advertisements on television and in magazines depicting holiday feasts and gifts beneath beautifully decorated Christmas trees. This can sometimes lead to overspending as people strive to meet these holiday expectations.

Holiday season stressors.

To avoid financial strain, set a budget and stick to it. While making your gift lists, determine the amount you can comfortably spend on each person and adhere to it. Consider pooling resources to purchase group gifts for friends or draw names from a hat to choose one family member to buy for instead of all of them. Also, think about giving handmade gifts such as baked goods, ornaments, a recipe book, or a photo album. Offering your time, like babysitting for a friend or cleaning out your grandmother’s attic, can also be a thoughtful gift.

On the other hand, this season often brings attention to the absence of family or social connections. If you’re away from your loved ones, consider ways to stay connected, such as email, videos, or video calls. When you feel isolated, look for local holiday concerts or community events to attend. You may also think about spending your time assisting those in need by volunteering at a local soup kitchen or food pantry or by distributing gifts to less fortunate children.

Preparing for the holiday season’s stressors can be challenging, but knowing what you might face and how to cope with those feelings is important. Look at the top holiday stressors and find ways to manage them.

  • Navigating Those Emotions

    If you’ve been through a recent traumatic event, family drama, or the loss of a loved one, the holiday season can stir up feelings of sadness, loneliness, or even grief. It’s all perfectly normal, and you don’t have to put on a happy face just because it’s the holidays. Engaging in activities you enjoy, getting some fresh air, or lending a hand through volunteering can boost your mood. Joining community events or helping others is a way to socialize and make a positive impact. When it comes to handling your feelings during the holiday season, Genesis Medical Associates, Inc. has a few useful hints: stick to healthy habits, be open to help and find support when you need it, and set boundaries that make sense for you.

    Depression. Pretty young woman siting on the floor and looking upset

    Zinkevych/ Getty Images

  • Sticking To the Basics and Maintaining Routine

    Putting on a few extra holiday pounds might seem like a tradition, but for some, it’s a major stress factor when trying to shed or maintain weight. Changes in your exercise and sleep routine can also add to your stress and potentially worsen other health issues. Sticking to your regular diet, exercise, and sleep schedule during the holidays can give you a sense of stability when everything else seems crazy. It can help keep your mood in check, your immune system strong, and your ability to handle stress intact. Plus, it can be a lifesaver for managing other health conditions. The Traini Counseling Group recommends taking a daily walk or simply carving out 20 minutes for yourself daily.

    Funny mature bearded man in red traditional Santa costume and trendy sunglasses holding two black dumbbells above the head. Combination of winter holidays and sports

    SerhiiBobyk/ Getty Images

  • Keeping It Real with Expectations

    During the holiday season, many folks set crazy-high expectations on themselves and others. But you don’t have to be a perfectionist to have a fun and memorable holiday. Sure, holiday traditions can bring a warm and fuzzy feeling, and you might feel like you have to keep things exactly the same year after year. But when life throws you a curveball, it’s okay to roll with the punches. Changing up those holiday routines and traditions to match new circumstances is perfectly fine. Psychology Today suggests lowering your expectations. “By keeping expectations realistic and focusing on what’s really important to you, you may just find that your ‘good enough’ holiday turns out to be ‘pretty great’ after all,” they wrote.

    Man with financial problems during Christmas.

    ajr_images/ Getty Images

  • Dealing with Family and Social Pressures

    The holiday season can be a bit of a stress-fest, thanks to family get-togethers and social shindigs. There’s a ton of stuff to manage, from party planning to a jam-packed social calendar, and it can all leave you feeling frazzled. One trick is to get ahead of the game by planning for those family bashes and gatherings. That can help you handle the event with less stress. And remember to factor in some downtime after these gatherings to recharge your batteries. If you know that a family visit or social event is going to trigger your anxiety, make sure you’ve got some relaxing time scheduled right afterward. Maybe head home and relax by watching your favorite movie or curling up with a book. Remember to not jam-pack your schedule with visits and events without giving yourself a break. Mayo Clinic suggests simply saying no to holiday commitments. “With holiday commitments, it is OK to say no to a few or all of them,” they wrote. They also added that sharing your to-do list with other family members may help alleviate your stress.

    Young man and woman standing in front of each other and screaming. They argue. Girl stand in front of camera and close her ears. She is screaming too. Girl is suffering

    Estradaanton/ Getty Images

  • Dietary Dilemmas

    Holiday festivities typically revolve around tons of grub, and some of it might not fit with your diet or allergies. If you have specific dietary needs, make sure you let your party host or caterer know in advance. Ask about what’s cooking. And if you’re hitting a potluck or buffet, try serving yourself first to avoid cross-contamination with other dishes. If you’re not sure what’s on the menu, just skip the meal. But don’t forget to eat something beforehand so you’re not starving. Holiday parties are famous for their special cocktails, which might have sneaky ingredients that mess with your allergies or sensitivities. If you’re not sure about what’s in your drink, stick to beverages you know are safe. The same goes for baked goods, which can hide all sorts of surprises.

    Unhappy girl find the dessert disgusting at Xmas office celebration

    nicoletaionescu/ Getty Images

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