With the holidays in full swing, many Americans are stressed out—but that stress is coming from different sources this year. According to a poll from the American Psychiatric Association, this year, funding the festivities is causing many individuals anxiety this holiday.
The top three areas people reported causing them stress were all economic:
Affording holiday gifts was cited by more than half of participants Finding and securing those gifts is causing stress for 40% of individuals Affording holiday meals is causing anxiety for 39% of respondents
Additionally, 37% of individuals said challenging family dynamics were causing them holiday worry, with 1 in 4 respondents saying they were worried about discussing politics or current events with family members around the dinner table. On the positive side, 44% of those surveyed reported they are looking forward to seeing family and friends over the holidays. Eating good food (20%) and taking time off (9%) were also giving people things to look forward to this holiday season.
Stressed about the holidays?
If you or someone you know are stressed about the holidays, here are a few tips that may help mitigate stress.
Say no: If you are finding yourself overwhelmed with holiday commitments, remember it is OK to say no. Prioritize the traditions that you value and simplify where you can. Read some advice from PAR CEO Kristin Greco on how she focuses on being present with her family during the holidays.
Practice mindfulness and meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation doesn’t need to take a lot of time and it can be done for no cost. There are many free resources that can help teach you the skills, such as this online program offered by the University of Minnesota.
Get moving: Aim to get 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise four to five times a week. Whether that’s getting outside for a walk, joining a gym, or just stretching in your house, maintaining activity can help combat seasonal affective disorder and provides a boost of serotonin to improve your mood.
Be realistic about resolutions: Although we all have the best of intentions, sometimes it may seem that New Year’s resolutions are doomed to fail. Instead of sweeping resolutions, break your goals up into smaller pieces or plot them out on a calendar to make them more likely to happen. And just because you didn’t succeed at first doesn’t mean your goal for the year is over—be kind to yourself and know that change is a process.