Holidays often lead to financial stress

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Photo courtesy of Tulane Public Relations, Wikimedia Commons

By Mayumi Herrera

Many people see the holiday season as a time to spend extra moments with family and friends, enjoy life, and appreciate the festive mood; however, the situation is often a bit more complex than simply gift wrapping and cookie baking.

On top of day to day worries that don’t stop just because holiday lights go up, life becomes far more hectic as family, economic, and workplace responsibilities and expectations begin to pile up. What is supposed to be a warm and long awaited holiday season can become a cold and dreaded winter of stress and worry, which might lead to a negative mood instead of holiday cheer.

A key finding of the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner research shows that the often unwanted hustle repeatedly becomes a rough hassle that causes people to feel more stressed due to lack of money and lack of time. Thirty eight percent of those who participated in the study said their stress levels increased while only 8 percent said their stress levels decreased during the holidays.

Finance is by far one of the greatest stress factors during the holiday season, even more so than during circumstances, according to Healthline. Increased purchases such as gifts and holiday decorations can turn into an overwhelming list of additional expenses leaving many feeling concerned. As reported by the National Retail Federation, each person spent on average $802.45 during the 2015 holiday season, and that average is only expected to grow.

While it is true that the holiday season is a challenge, the key is to find a balance between saving and spending while also enjoying the time of true beauty and living in the moment. The uplifting season of love, happiness, and high spirits, should surpass worries and stress. Remembering that material goods are not the true spirit of the holidays can help people work towards the merriest holiday season and have healthy and positive, long-lasting effects on the mind and body. We should make it the most wonderful time of the year, as Andy Williams would say.

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