Sometimes stress can be caused by interacting with our family – previous memories of past holidays, changes in our lives or simply the mood of each individual. These five strategies can be used to help combat the stress over the winter period.
1. Recognise your feelings
Losing a family member can be tough for everybody, and each person will deal with it in his or her own way. Understand that it’s normal to feel sad and embrace those feelings. Try celebrating the life of the person by sharing stories of the good times.
2. Be realistic
Try speaking to your family to let them know what to expect regarding holidays and gifts. If money’s tight this year, explain that to them. You will feel a great weight lifted off your shoulders when everybody is on the same page.
3. Try something different
If your traditional family meet up is getting more stressful every year – try something different. Plan a dinner at a local restaurant or an evening out somewhere nice. This can reduce your stress levels, as being in the same place with the same people for long periods of time can take its toll.
4. Learn to say no
Try to be honest with your friends and family. Saying yes when you mean no can create the feeling of resentment. Try saying no and explain the reason why – they are your family after all, so they will understand.
5. Prepare a budget
Decide early how much you are able to spend on gifts and food. Do not allow yourself to spend more money than you can afford to appease everyone. Remember that the happiness received from gifts is only temporary.
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