Understanding Holiday Stress

Fa la la la la, la la la la!! Holiday season is the best….or worst. I grew up with an immense love for the holidays, Christmas especially. My mother always made sure to provide me with all the love in the world and every gift on my list (**almost every, still wishing for the Barbie Styling Head). Holidays are meant to be filled with joy, laughter, and times with loved ones. Sadly, that is not how it feels for all. Holidays are stressful, emotional, financially difficult, and sometimes down-right depressing.

As a parent it can be especially difficult when it seems children are hardwired to ask for more and more presents. Even as we gear closer to Christmas I find myself having a battle with the little in a store as she yells “Why can’t you just get it for me nowwwwww!!”. I didn’t mean to teach her to expect presents, I honestly feel it is the nature of the season. This can be mentally and emotionally taxing on parents. Not stereotyping, but generally mommas are in charge of checking off the

Probably going to purchase this sign sold by LetterFolk

gift lists and preparing for the holiday parties. Our normal schedules are disrupted with holiday goals and we lose a sense of time. Commence Holiday Stress!  

Holiday stress and anxiety are real issues. Holiday anxiety looks the same as “normal” anxiety, but with lights and hot chocolate flowing through your veins.

Symptoms include:

  • headaches
  • excessive drinking
  • overeating
  • insomnia
  • limited desire to attend social events

It can all be overwhelming and expectations are heightened, but try your best to lower them! Honestly, lower your expectations. Your kids will be fine if the cookies are little crispy. The kids will be fine if the presents aren’t perfectly wrapped. The kids will be fine if they don’t get every present on their list. Your family will be fine if you don’t actually bring your famous lasagna to the holiday party. It might feel like it’s not ok, but IT IS OK. More likely than not, people understand. Not only do they understand, they are whiling to help!

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OptionB.Org initiative by Sheryl Sandberg

Have a hard time asking for help? Recently I came across an article on Facebook about Kesha sharing how hard the holidays can be when you struggle with mental illness. The original article was written in connection with an initiative called #OptionBThere that is an online resource for all the best gifts you can give that are not physical gifts. The gift of being there for friends and loved ones. There are an abundance of resources and personal stories about how to handle holiday and everyday stress. No matter how you address your barriers to enjoying the holidays with you family, address them one step at a time. We’re in this together and it’s ok to ask for help during the most cheerful time of year when you are not feeling cheery.




Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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