HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – For millions of American’s, the most wonderful time of the year is also the most stressful.
According to a survey from the American Institute of Stress, nearly 70-percent of adults report feeling overwhelmed in December, with the main source of stress surrounding their finances.
The average American household is projected to spend over $1,200 this season, according to First State Community Bank.
“[If you can’t buy gifts], say to select people, ‘why don’t we decide why don’t we not do gifts this year, and instead get together for brunch or dinner,'” Clinical Psychologist Ingrid Krecko said. “That way, you’re replacing the buying of the gifts with some kind of fun experience together.”
If that’s not an option, Krecko said replacing presents with family traditions or rituals — like watching a holiday movie or putting up decorations — can be a meaningful replacement.
American’s also reported family dynamics as one of their top stressors.
“Navigating family dynamics can feel like walking through a landmine for some people,” Krecko said. “[If politics are brought up] and you start to feel tension, remind people that [the topic] is not on the table tonight. Just a blanket statement.”
If these tips fail, Krecko said sometimes something small and simple can make can make a big difference.
“Sometimes, the best thing for stress is a little bit of Christmas cookie therapy, and that’s totally okay, too,” she added.