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How to Manage Financial Stress During Holidays

How to Manage Financial Stress During Holidays

How to Manage Financial Stress During Holidays

While holidays offer the most exciting moments of the year, they can also come with a lot of stress and anxiety. Holidays mean more traveling, shopping, and going to adventurous destinations with friends and family. In this article, we provide tips on how to manage financial stress during holidays.

The Connection Between Money and Mental Health During Holidays

While holidays are supposed to be fun, they can also be stressful when the financial aspect comes in. From plane tickets home to social gatherings to gifts, the holiday costs can add up quickly and impact your mental health.

Many people report feeling blue during holidays. So, if that’s what you are experiencing, you are not alone.

According to Statista, many regions have been experiencing a rise in inflation since 2021. That means many people aren’t able to afford gifts and other holiday needs. This can mean added stress, anxiety, and depression.

As an advocate of good mental health, we want you to enjoy your holidays and maintain good mental health. In the next few minutes, we will share practical tips on how to reduce financial stress during holidays.

Tips to Manage Financial Stress During Holidays

Everyone has their expectations for this holiday season. But if you lack the finances to actualize your plans, your plans will only remain dreams. The problem is with the holiday hype around you, you may become stressed and suffer anxiety. Unfortunately, mental issues bring instant and long-term effects on your health and general life. Here are practical ways to manage stress during holidays.

Prioritize Mental Care

No matter the season, your mental health should come first. So, even as you think about where to get money for your holiday expenses, don’t abandon checking your mental health during holidays.

Financial stress (even when not holiday-related) can lead to mental health issues and impact your quality of life. People who experience higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression live a limited life that impacts everything they do, including relationships and financial capabilities.

If you experience higher stress levels during this holiday season, it’s best to talk to a therapist and share your concerns. You will be surprised at how just talking to a mental professional opens many possibilities that you never thought existed.

If you are unsure how and where to get a therapist during the holidays, check our mental health resources and select a professional that best suits your needs. Also, you may want to check our therapy loan resources if you need financial help to cater for your holiday therapy costs.

Create a Realistic Spending Plan

In addition to talking to a therapist, another way to manage financial stress during holidays is by establishing a clear budget.

Establishing a spending plan means that you know where your money is coming from and where it goes. Although it may seem obvious, you will be surprised at how many people enter into a spending mood with a plan and then end up with surprises. In the end, they experience higher stress and anxiety levels.

But when you budget, you will know what money goes where. You will know what money goes to gifts, plane tickets, cabs, parties, additional food, and even money for emergencies. This will make you feel in control and prevent additional mental burdens from financial stress.

Consider Low-Cost Celebration Ideas

The best thing about holidays is that you have the power to decide the type and extent of celebrations. If holidays are giving you financial anxiety, talk to your family and friends about low-cost celebration ideas to engage in.

Ideally, you must ensure that your celebration ideas fall within your spending limits. While you may be reluctant to suggest these low-cost celebration ideas, you may be amazed that your family and friends will welcome these ideas. Remember, most people are going through hard financial times due to inflation and higher interest rates and your partners may be looking for ways to reduce holiday spending as well.

Avoid Temptation to Avoid Financial Stress During Holidays

Even with a spending plan, you may still be tempted to spend beyond your limits. As such, you should limit your time in shopping malls, entertainment places, and other places that may tempt you to spend beyond your limits.

Sometimes you may want to leave your debit and credit cards at home and only carry the amount of money you plan to spend. If you shop online, take your time before checking out so you have enough time to think it through.

Learn to Address Stress Around Money

When struggling with financial stress during holidays, some people turn to unhealthy activities like smoking, excessive drinking, gambling, or emotional eating. However, these things will only worsen your mental issues.

These behaviors can lead to more spending and impact your relationships, leading to more stress. We encourage you to speak with a mental professional to guide you on how to deal with financial stress.

Learn to Handle Gift-Giving Anxiety

One of the holiday stressors is gift-giving. Figuring out what people want and their responses can add to your anxiety. Also, there’s the issue of gift-giving imbalance—what happens if you gift one person more, or what if you give a less valuable (or more valuable) gift that you receive?

To reduce gift anxiety, it’s best to ask people you want to give a gift what they would want. You might be surprised at their answers as some will just say they want to spend quality time with you instead of a material product.

Handling Financial Stress During Holidays—Conclusion

We hope the above tips will enable you to enjoy your holiday to the maximum. We insist on the need to connect with a mental professional if financial stress is taking a toll on you. Check our mental health resources and medical loan resources if you need to connect with a reputable therapist and psychologist or need financial help.

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Danielle Aubin (she/her), Online Clinical Social Worker/Therapist, Roseville, CA
gu wellness counseling, Virtual Therapist Service in Denver, CO

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