The Caring Blog: Stress and The Holidays
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After returning home from the grocery store, I noticed the bins of Halloween candy priced at 75% off next to the Christmas lights, ribbons, and trees. A Thanksgiving turkey candle was squeezed between the sale candy and Christmas decorations. My heart rate suddenly increased. “It’s here” I thought. Summer is really over and it is time for – The Holidays.
This term – The Holidays – is lumped together to include all the celebrations from October 31st to January 1st. People begin the headlong rush into preparations for this time of year.

In this series, we will look at ways we contribute in making The Holidays stressful. We will also find ways to avoid celebratory pitfalls which leave us frustrated, depleted, and depressed. Achieving balance and joy in keeping “Thanks” in Thanksgiving and “Christ” in Christmas takes intentionality and planning.

As you contemplate the upcoming holiday events ask yourself two very important questions
1. What are my hopes and expectations this year?
2. What could potentially make this holiday season stressful for me?

What we believe or expect from the holidays is crucial to healthy stress management before, during, and after the holiday season. Memories are often the driving force for our outlook on the holidays, and these can be positive or negative.
Think for a moment of your favorite holiday memory. What made it so positive? Whom did it involve? Is it something you would (or could) like to replicate?
Next, think of a “not so great” holiday memory. How has this impacted your view of the holidays in general? What unrealistic expectations of yourself and others came from this?

Norman Rockwell Christmases or Southern Living Turkey feasts can quickly spiral into a Chevy Chase holiday fiasco where we are left feeling let down and frustrated. In the next caring blog, we will look at the common sources Holiday Stressors AND tips to remain joyful during this season.

Michele King is the Director of Care Services. Michele’s passion is derived from seeing the healing power of Jesus Christ in the lives of emotionally hurting and spiritually wounded individuals. She believes His forgiveness offered them redemption of their pain and is always amazing proof of His great love for each of us. To learn more about our confidential caring services, please contact us at 423-283-7557 or .

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