Holiday Stress + Zombie Apocalypse = Stress Overload
Stress is common during the holidays, but imagine the holidays with a Zombie Apocalypse, we would all be affected by such an extreme crisis. Now the reality of 2020 with all its extras can seem very similar to a Zombie Apocalypse. Add in the holiday season and it's bound to create stress overload.
I am using the Zombie Apocalypse metaphor because it puts everything into perspective. (And I love these movies.) It reminds me that we are still in a crisis: so holiday success begins with lowering my expectations!
1. Unrealistic expectations driven by social media
We can all feel less than par when looking at social media and seeing that everyone is “putting their best foot forward,” which is unrealistic at this time. No one is posting their screaming during home school or checkbook stress. On social media we see this perceptual beauty of life and it can trigger our own inadequacies. The difference is that during a Zombie Apocalypse most of us would know that anything we do is difficult during these times. Our expectations can be much lower. Remind yourself that this is a Zombie Apocalypse.
2. Financial stress
Financial Stress is triggered during the holidays and understandably even more so during the Zombie Apocalypse. Mostly everyone is experiencing some form of financial stress. Pair that with added expectations of the holidays, and it can feel very overwhelming, especially when children and family may expect more than you can give this holiday. Remember it’s a Zombie Apocalypse, so you don’t have to give so much this go-round. Reevaluate what’s important.
The inability to be with one’s family and friends is difficult. This reminder can create hopeless feelings. But again, the Zombie Apocalypse can’t last forever, so we will see family soon enough. Face-timing visits can have a powerful effect during these times. I know it isn’t the same – but it can be something to bridge the gap.
Death of someone , divorce, or changes can create grief. I see so many during the holidays as they adjust to the absence of a loved one. These times are a reminder of their absence. This does not come with an easy solution. Death and other forms of grief take time to adjust to, so gaining support through this part of the holidays is essential.
5. Too much alcohol
Alcohol is a part of most holiday celebrations. During a Zombie Apocalypse you may want to engage in more alcohol "celebration". Remember that alcohol is a depressant and can increase depressive and anxious symptoms. So even though it helps us to forget about the zombies and apocalypse, it can increase symptoms for depression the next day. Moderation is essential.
Remind yourself it is a Zombie Apocalypse, and so this holiday season has to start with adjusting your expectations!