Holiday Stress

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Harvard Medical School

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Holiday Stress

Stress
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Holiday Stress
Holiday Stress
Holiday Stress
htmPerfection
Holiday Stress
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InteliHealth
2009-12-10
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2011-12-10

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Don't let perfection spoil the party

Perfectionists need to make everything just so, and often are not very concerned about interacting with people. They want everything to follow a preconceived script, and they put a lot of energy into making sure the script is followed.

Fussing over details usually backfires, spoiling the fun not just for the worrier but for everyone else, too.

Your family and friends really don't care if things are perfect. They are more likely to appreciate a relaxed atmosphere.

If you're a holiday perfectionist, try to reduce your stress and exhaustion by delegating chores. And don't wait for family members to volunteer to help out, either. They've been programmed all these years to comply with your need to do everything perfectly by yourself — and so they may need to be prodded to help out.

Another way to lower stress is to do things in advance. The more you can do before the holidays, the less chance that everything will come to a head at the last moment. But if you find yourself already in the middle of the season, step back and think about what is important to you — and what is not important. Stressed people often see everything as equally important. Try to counteract this tendency by setting priorities. Write down what must be done, what can be skipped if necessary, and then focus just on the important things.

 

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Last updated December 10, 2009


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