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Dealing with holiday stress and avoiding meltdowns


For many who try to make the holidays picture perfect, this time of year is more stressful than joyful. We tend to set ourselves up with such high expectations, that we can't really enjoy the festivities or connect with family and friends.


According to Lucy Schrader, Building Strong Families program coordinator, we need to cut ourselves some slack. Schrader offers some important tips to help you keep things in perspective during the holidays:


  • Remember that families are dynamic and they aren't perfect. We should celebrate the imperfections that make our family unique from any other.
  • Recognize that this is a high stress time due to more obligations on the calendar, blending cultures or families together, high expectations set by yourself or others, financial stress, etc. As a result, there may be more stress and arguments amongst those in your household.
  • Be realistic and be up front with your family about what you can or cannot do. This could include decreasing the shopping budget and buying less presents to avoid financial strain. You can also consider scaling back on some of the family traditions or even moving them to another time of year.
  • Don't forget to take care of yourself – make that a priority. It could be something as simple as making sure you have at least one nutritious meal or snack each day, planning a nap for the weekend or just taking a few deep breaths every morning.


For more tips on how you can focus on the spirit of the holidays rather than getting lost in the stress, listen to the MU Extension on the Go podcast with Lucy Schrader.



Source: Lucy Schrader, M.A., Associate State Specialist, Building Strong Families Program Coordinator, Personal Financial Planning, University of Missouri Extension
Podcast hosted/created by: Debbie Johnson, Cooperative Media Group, University of Missouri Extension


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Last Updated 10/22/2012