Breathe. You have got this.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year...and for many, the most stressful too. Family dinners, traveling, holiday shopping, and parties are fun but we often find ourselves overworked, overscheduled, and overwhelmed. When’s the last time you remember making it through the holiday season without being seriously stressed out at some point? We get it, and that’s why we’re here to give you tips to help avoid holiday stress while getting the most out of this time of year.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Whether you have a small or large family or group of friends, your calendar is likely filling up.There’s never been a better time to make use of your planner and calendar to map out your festivities, deadlines, and to-dos. Nothing’s more stressful than realizing you’ve double booked yourself leaving you rushing around to make the events you said yes to.If you’re hosting an event, plan your menu ahead along with a grocery list to avoid those last-minute grocery store trips that are sure to raise your stress level. Write it all down and leave yourself plenty of time to recover in between everything.
Set a budget and stick to it
While gift giving is rewarding, and all the festivities can be so much fun, spending can easily get out of control and only leave us more stressed. Sit down, write down your lists, and set a firm budget. To go along with planning,remember it’s not about the price of the gift but about the practicality and the thought put into it. If you have children, make a plan and stand firm. Of course, you want to make this time of year magical for them but they’re not going remember that expensive toy you bought for them when they were 3. They’re going to remember that every Christmas Eve was family baking day, or any other family traditions you put in place.Make the holidays about the experience, not the price tag. If you have a large group of friends and family, have a conversation about drawing names to cut cost or set a price cap for each gift.Let’s face it, everyone is thinking of the large list of people they have to buy for and the large amount of money they’re about to fork out whether they can afford it or not. You don’t want to end the joyful holiday season broke, with a wallet full of maxed out credit cards. It’s about experiences, not expenses.
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart...really
You’re busy. Think twice before you try to make every dish from scratch or decorate like your home is going to be in a magazine. Check your grocery store or a local restaurant to see what holiday sides or trays they offer that can check a few items off of your list, or at least cut out some big steps in the process of making things, and save yourself all that time and stress.Decorate as much as you want, but not to anyone else’s expectations. The point is to enjoy it all, so only do enough to keep it in that realm.
Once you’ve committed to your holiday schedule, it’s okay to say no to any last-minute invites or accommodations. Don’t feel bad about it. If it’s something you really want to go to, great. If it’s something that’s going to leave you and your family rushing from event to event,looking at your watch, and busting your budget, maybe you should pass. Most people will understand when you’re busy, especially when they’ve given you short notice.
Take time for you
Yes, this is the season of giving joyfully. We tend to put others before ourselves, and that’s wonderful. But you can’t be joyful if you’re incredibly stressed inside or in pain. Make sure you schedule time for self-care. If you notice you have back to back holiday parties, find some whereto mark some time in for yourself. We tend to get less sleep, eat terribly, push our bodies further, and put ourselves at the very bottom of our priorities list this time of year. Make sure you keep your regular massage appointments going, keep up your exercise routine, and any other self-care efforts you normally make. Take on the holiday season pain free and stress free so you can truly enjoy every minute.The holidays are a time for giving, gathering, and joy; but they can also be stressful,overwhelming, and busy. Use these tips to help avoid holiday stress and make the most of your holiday season.