Seven Ways to Have a Stressful Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us and we all know that stress is a huge part of that. In fact,
if you aren’t stressed out, chances are you are not appropriately celebrating the holidays. So if you need some advice on how to raise those stress levels read on!

1: Save all of your shopping till the last minute
I know it may seem like a good idea to prepare early, but what is the fun in that? Instead, wait till the last possible minute (I recommend finding out when your local stores close on Christmas Eve and going less than an hour before that time). Nothing will put you in the holiday spirit quite like the rush of not knowing if the doll you promised your daughter will still be there or if you’ll be able to find any hams for dinner. To make it even more fun, dozens of other shoppers will have done the same thing. You can all get in the Christmas spirit together by fighting over the last can of green beans!!

2: Try to insure that everything is perfect
We all know that if a single thing goes wrong everyone’s holidays will be absolutely
ruined. Actually forget the holidays, their whole life. It doesn’t even have to be a major mistake. If the ornaments on your Christmas tree are not arranged exactly symmetrically, it is a problem. Feed off of that stress! You are making your holidays so much better.

3: Take everything your family says personally
Your Aunt Susan asked at dinner if you had a boyfriend yet. Think about that for the next few days (or weeks if you can manage it). Ruminate on it. Try to find exactly where the insult was. Then do the same with every other comment that your family makes that might possibly be an insult. So what if you haven’t seen the relative in question in over a year and they know little to nothing about your current life? They are the best judge of how you are doing and you should absolutely believe every word they say.

4: And speaking of family….bring up politics
Or religion. Or what breed of dog is best. Spend some time before your next holiday
gathering thinking about what would be most likely to start a nice juicy argument. Then, when the moment is right, bring it up. If you’re lucky, someone else will bring it up for you. If they do (now this is the important thing) don’t leave the room. Don’t walk away. Don’t change the subject. Keep everyone talking about it for as long as humanly possible. Then sit back and enjoy those rising stress levels and the increased festivity.

5: Say yes to everything
It’s the holiday season. That means saying yes to going to the office party. And the PTA
party. And to making cookies for the church bake sale. And of course you’ll decorate the tree at the community center! And absolutely host book club this month (even if it isn’t your turn). It’s best not to say no to anything. You want your calendar to be as over booked as possible. If you aren’t being pulled in twelve directions at once, are you really and truly in the holiday spirit? I don’t think so.

6: Make sure to do everything yourself
Don’t ask for help. Don’t accept help. Even if you have one hour to do ten things. Even if
there are two appointments you have to be at that are at the same time. Don’t let anyone help you prepare. Or shop. Or wrap presents. And absolutely don’t let anyone help you prepare food. If you go to a holiday gathering and have any time to spend with the people there, then you are doing it wrong.

7: Finally, have absolutely no fun
This is the holidays! There isn’t any fun allowed. And above all, don’t you dare laugh at
anything. Not the funny stories people are telling. Not the dog when it tries to steal the turkey. Nothing. Absolutely no laughter allowed. Remember people, laughter is one of the best ways to reduce stress and we want those stress levels as high as possible this holiday season!

Of course, this list is all in good fun. Please don’t take any of these suggestions seriously! If you notice that you are doing some of these things, take a moment to step back and evaluate your stress levels. Try going for a walk, taking a break, or meditating, whatever works for you. If you find that your stress levels have become unmanageable, don’t hesitate to give our office a call. We have multiple qualified counselors that are available to take on new clients. We will, however, be closed the weeks of Christmas and New Years.

This blog was written by our intern, Hannah Shaffett.

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