Firstly, it's important to understand why money is such a significant stressor for us. So let's dig in. We long for security, stability, and safety in our lives. Money gives us a sense of all of these things, so without it we feel less secure, less stable, and of course less safe. The caveat is that money does not always guarantee that we do have these things. However, the good thing is that we also can find security, stability, and safety from the relationships in our lives. When we have strong and reliable relationships with family and friends, we are also more resilient to stress and hard times. And these are things that money cannot provide for us that our relationships do.
Now onto the coping part. Having more money is only a temporary solution to our problem, since we are likely to spend more when we have more money. It actually just takes us back to where we started. So we'll have to be creative in coping with the financial stress. When we find that money is an issue this season, we may work on restoring our sense of security, stability, and safety by nurturing our relationships rather than trying to find/make more money to restore our bank accounts. The idea here is that we can cope best by doing things that do not cost money rather than try to get more of what causes the financial stress in the first place.
So if we can't afford that big screen T.V. for our partner this year, we can give the gift of an evening of relaxation instead. Sounds corny at first, but I don't recall the last time I received a back rub from my T.V., can you? If we can't afford the latest IPad for the children, we can give them a day with us doing something fun (baking, crafting, etc) uninterrupted by emails or Facebook updates. Your children may break or even lose the toys/gadgets they get for Christmas, but they'll never lose the memory of a special experience with you. Making these holiday gifts meaningful and priceless will not only deepen our relationships, but also make us richer in love and support.