During a season intended to be full of joy, generosity, and connections, the financial burden that comes with the holidays can create excessive stress. Holiday expectations mixed with financial obligations can take a toll on your emotional and mental wellness.
Given the clear link between financial wellness and mental health, here are some useful tips to help reduce financial stress during the holidays.
1. Create a Budget
Budgets help us prioritize and manage our most important expenses. Knowing where your money goes reduces surprises thus decreasing stress. Allowing funds for gifts, parties, travel, food, and the charitable donations that happen during this time of year is the key to creating your budget. With a more conscious approach to spending, you’ll feel more in control.
2. Reduce Gift Anxiety
Gift-giving can be an overwhelming and intense process. What does she want? Will he use it? What do I get the person who already has everything? What if the gift I give isn’t good enough? The stress to impress can often outweigh the joy of actually giving. There are solutions!
o Ask them what they want! At first this feels like it doesn’t count if you have to ask but you will be surprised by how many people appreciate the ask and will quickly tell you exactly what they want.
o Divide and Conquer. If you are gift-giving for a big family or a large group of friends, consider doing a Secret Santa gift exchange. The money won’t be the only thing saved, consider the time, and your mental strain! Even more than the gift, consider potluck for dinner and kids making crafts for decorations.
o Be Creative. Don’t underestimate the power of a coupon book or homemade gift. Creative gifts are cost-effective and add that extra special touch of personal connection. They are a quick way to show your family, friends, or coworkers how much you care about them and their specific needs.
3. Prioritize Self-Care
Whether it’s the financial stress of the holidays getting to you, professional stress, or general stress, self-care can be just what you need to make you feel better. It might not feel like the best time to spend money on yourself but there are plenty of no-cost ways to care for yourself – think bubble bath, mediation, going for a run… How about a quiet night watching holiday movies? Caroling, sledding, or seeing holiday displays.
4. Ask for Help
It’s okay to speak to a professional. It does not make you weak and it does not mean anything is wrong with you. New Perspectives helps people learn to manage stress and anxiety regardless of the season. We provide therapy and coaching sessions from the comfort, privacy, and convenience of your own home at the time (day or night) that works best for your schedule.
In many cases, New Perspectives is covered by your insurance with little to no out-of-pocket expense. Whether it’s the holidays or daily life, we teach people practical, effective skills that have them feel better and live better.
Money problems and mental health issues are intrinsically linked. Continuous financial stress wreaks havoc with mental health but there is support available. New Perspectives has the experience and support to help.
Looking for a licensed therapist near you? Need a counselor to help support your mental health through the holidays and beyond? New Perspectives is accepting new clients!