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Manage Holiday Stress

By Jason Dubue

Manage Holiday Stress

Dec 19, 2022 - By Jason Dubue

The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for many people it can also be a time of stress and anxiety. One major source of holiday stress is the pressure to meet the expectations of others, whether it’s the expectation to buy elaborate or expensive gifts, to host a perfect dinner party, or to keep a spotless home.

But it’s important to remember that these expectations are often self-imposed and not necessarily what others expect of us. Your friends and family are likely to be much more interested in spending time with you and enjoying your company than they are in the material things you provide.

So how can you manage holiday stress by not rising to what you believe others expect of you? Here are a few tips:

  1. Set boundaries and priorities: Decide what is most important to you and what you are willing and able to do, and then stick to those boundaries. Don’t feel obligated to do more than you are comfortable with or can afford.
  2. Don’t feel pressure to buy elaborate or expensive gifts: Remember that the thought and effort you put into a gift is often more meaningful than the cost. A homemade gift or a small token of appreciation can be just as meaningful as something more expensive.
  3. It’s okay to take shortcuts: It’s not necessary to cook an elaborate holiday feast from scratch or spend hours cleaning your home. Consider ordering take-out or asking friends and family to bring dishes to share. And remember, an untidy home is not the end of the world. Your loved ones will understand and appreciate the effort you put into hosting them, even if everything is not perfect.
  4. Practice self-care: Make sure to take care of yourself during the holiday season by getting enough sleep, eating well, and finding time to relax and recharge. This will help you stay calm and focused, and better able to handle any challenges that come your way.

There are also many ways that the community can help with holiday stresses:

  1. Support each other: Offer to help out with tasks such as gift shopping, cooking, or cleaning for those who are feeling overwhelmed.
  2. Share resources: If you have extra resources such as food, gifts, or decorations, consider sharing them with others in the community who may be in need.
  3. Offer a listening ear: If someone is struggling with holiday stress, offer to listen and provide support. Sometimes simply having someone to talk to can make a big difference.
  4. Host events: Consider organizing a community holiday event, such as a potluck or gift exchange, to bring people together and provide a sense of community and connection.
  5. Get involved in volunteering: Participating in volunteer activities can be a great way to give back to the community and provide a sense of purpose and meaning during the holiday season.

By working together and supporting each other, communities can help alleviate holiday stress and create a more enjoyable and positive holiday experience for everyone. Remember that the most important thing is to be present and enjoy the company of your loved ones. Your friends and family will remember your smile, warmth, and relaxed disposition before they remember any of the other stuff.

If cooking a Holiday dinner stresses you out, Councillor Riley Brockington is excited to host a special River Ward Holiday Dinner event on December 22, 2022. This event is an opportunity to come together and celebrate the holiday season with your friends and community. There will also be musical entertainment from Johnny Vegas!

In the spirit of giving, Councillor Brockington is also collecting non-perishable food items to be donated to The Ottawa Food Bank. If you’d like to contribute, please bring along any non-perishable items you’d like to donate.

Seating is limited for this event, so be sure to RSVP to Courtney McRury at to reserve your spot. Don’t miss out on this festive and fun holiday celebration!

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