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There’s so much to do at this time of year. When you’re in a rush to get everything done, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Sometimes when we feel worn out, it is because we have taken on too much. Realize that many others feel the same way as you and may be stressed or anxious, too. Try to remember that the holiday season is only a few weeks out of the year.
Free yourself from ideas about how the holiday season should be. This can be difficult, especially if you have a lot of holiday traditions. Think about your traditions and try to separate those you truly enjoy from those you feel you have to do. If you are feeling overwhelmed, consider doing something different to celebrate this year.
Decide what the right level of social activity is for you to feel happiest. Is it attending several parties or just one or two? And plan accordingly. Before agreeing to take on any responsibility or social event, give yourself time to think. You can tell people you have to check your calendar first and get back to them. It’s OK to tell people “no thank you.” Only you can decide which holiday events and activities are most meaningful to you.
Finally, give yourself a break. Do you believe you’re supposed to feel a certain way during the holidays? Happy, generous, energetic and loving? Do not judge or compare your feelings with anyone else’s. You get to feel exactly what you’re feeling.
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You may have noticed a friend or family member who seems overwhelmed. He or she may be taking on too much or is feeling stress from work. Maybe your loved one is showing signs of emotional problems or is avoiding social settings even with people at home. This detachment and withdrawal might be a clue that he or she needs help managing stress.