7 Reasons the Holidays Give You Anxiety—and How to Cope

Updated: Dec. 15, 2017

It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of year, but it can also be the most stressful. According to a survey by the Florida House Experience, there are seven triggers that this season brings. Here is why the festive period may be making you extra anxious—and what to do about it.

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The holidays remind you how broke you are

‘Tis the season to spend money, right? But what if your purse strings are tighter than ever this year? A majority of respondents, 63 percent, agree that the holidays make them anxious or depressed because of money issues. From traveling to see your loved ones to buying gifts, everything comes with a pretty hefty price tag during this season. In fact, according to a 2016 study, the average American spends $929 on gifts each year. Curbing that trend and opting for more affordable presents could be the best thing you ever do. Here’s how you can save money on holiday shopping.


The holidays are overly commercialized

As if that weren’t enough, the advertising and rhetoric that surrounds this season is painfully commercialized. Banners in every store tell you that you need to make this holiday a “special” one, but what they really mean is that you need to buy more stuff. Rather than focusing on spending money, putting more emphasis on seeing family and loved ones will help to ease the strain. Read on for tips on how to ease holiday stress.

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The holidays remind you that you don’t have anyone to share them with

The holidays are all about spending quality time with your loved ones, but for some, that’s not an option. According to the survey, 29 percent find that this season reminds them that they don’t have anyone to spend it with. Loneliness is challenging any time of year, but particularly around the holidays, it can feel like the entire world is cozied up by the fire with loved ones. Still, acknowledging your feelings is the first step toward changing your situation. Find out 50 ways you can feel less lonely.

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The holidays remind you of something you’d like to forget

Whether it’s the death of a loved one or a literal nightmare that happened on Christmas, the holiday season may dredge up tricky memories that we’d rather forget. For 17 percent of those surveyed, that is very much the case. Taking the focus away from that event or problem and, in a sense, distracting yourself may be the best way to go.


The holidays remind you of a person you’d rather forget

You may be able to push the ghost of your ex out of your mind during the rest of the year, but when the holidays come around, it’s harder than ever. Around 15 percent of respondents find that this season reminds them of someone they would like to forget. If that’s the case for you, consider the best ways you can cope, including what can help you to overcome those feelings. Often enough, it’s about keeping yourself busy rather than dwelling on the past. Find out more tips for getting over a breakup.


They remind you of your past

There’s something about returning to your hometown after a long period of absence. The people who reside there—old friends and family—may not have seen you in a while. As a result, they see you as they always did; the old you. Should that be a person you don’t particularly like, it can be a challenge. Avoid internalizing their views on you and remind yourself of the person you are now. Only you get to define who that is.

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Everything else

Just over 25 percent of the people surveyed said that the holidays made them anxious and depressed for “other” reasons than the ones mentioned here. In truth, there’s a multitude of things that can trigger people during this season. Luckily, there are some things that help: The survey found that activities, including watching TV, cuddling animals, and exercising were all effective coping mechanisms when times get tough. What’s more, taking it easy and allowing yourself some “you time” could also benefit you greatly.

For more information on how to cope, visit Fherehab.com