Don’t sweat the small stuff: Tips for managing holiday stress

Don’t sweat the small stuff: Tips for managing holiday stress

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Get gifts, wrap gifts, attend holiday parties.

The holidays can be overwhelming and with so much to do and so little time, it can also get stressful.

“A lot of people procrastinate to the very last minute to get their gifts or to make travel plans or to make everything perfect," said Lauren Moser Vilar, a licensed clinical social worker in Wilmington. “That can bring a lot of stress.”

Besides the financial stress, family or lack thereof can also trigger anxiety.

“It is often stressful right now for people who do not have friends or family to spend the holidays with," Moser Vilar said. “Not everyone has a happy family, or a split family, so that is difficult.”

Moser Vilar shared few tips for getting through the holidays without becoming a Grinch.

“Try to go with the flow and don’t sweat the small stuff," she said. "If you don’t get the perfect gift, that’s OK. Move on.

"If you are in traffic during your shopping trip, it’s OK. Turn up the Christmas carols and realize you need to be positive and optimistic. Something is bound to go wrong.”

Other tips:

  • Try to be realistic. Be present in the moment. Try to ditch comparisons to other people on their gift-giving and where they are taking their trips.
  • Try to make the holidays special with one thing that is special to you, whether it’s a song, a movie, or spending time with someone you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be something grand.
  • Give yourself permission to not attend a family function that would cause stress.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Develop positive self-talk to keep you focused on what you do enjoy about the holidays.

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