While the holidays are often accompanied with feelings of joy and happiness, one in five people feel an 'extreme' level of stress. That's according to Murray State University psychology professor Dr. Michael Bordieri. He says that stress largely comes from social expectations that the holidays be perfect. A stress-free holiday, he says, can include letting go of this idea.
"You know, when the turkey falls to the ground and a backup plan has to be made for dinner, yes it's something you could stress out about and it could be a disaster, but it could also be an opportunity to have a new memory with family as well."
Bordieri says film, television and social media perpetuate an unrealistic expectation of life. He says finances can also contribute to stress and recommends finding ways to show appreciation for loved ones that don't involve buying things - like volunteering.
He also recommends finding ways to show appreciation for loved ones that don't necessarily involve buying things.
"Folks who find time to spend actual quality time with their friends and family tend to report more happiness than just getting the greatest gadget or the next gift."
Bordieri recommends letting go of ‘unrealistic’ expectations and embracing 'imperfect' moments. He also says taking a 'vacation from a vacation,' like a 15-minute walk outside, might help alleviate holiday stress.