Creating a Stress-Free Holiday Season
While the holiday season is meant to be a joyful and relaxing time, it sometimes ends up being something totally different. Sure, we still enjoy the time with family and friends, but just how much stress and anxiety did we have to go through to enjoy that moment? With the holidays comes holiday parties, gifts, baking, and a lot of cleaning. It can be pretty stressful, especially when you’re a parent. This holiday season, try out these tips to minimize your stress and have happy and healthy holidays.
Plan ahead. Planning ahead is going to get rid of the last minute runs to the grocery store or the mall to pick up the things that you need. For your holiday meals, have a list planned out of all of the ingredients that you will need. Set aside time to go buy these items. Set aside a day or two to go shopping for gifts. The best solution in any case is to create a list. Just create lists of everything you know you will need for the holiday parties coming up. The key is to do this well before the day of the parties.
Stick to a budget. When it comes to buying gifts for your family, it’s hard to not get everything on their wish list. You just want to make them happy. But if you’re on a budget, make sure you stick to it. Decide how much money you can afford to spend on gifts, and do not go over that amount. There are a lot of ways to spend money when it comes to gifts such as donating to a charity in someone’s name, giving homemade gifts, and starting a family gift exchange.
Learn to say no. Learning to say no can apply to a lot of things. If you say yes to everything and everyone, you are just going to overwhelm yourself. You do not have to participate in every holiday activity or project that friends or family ask you to participate in. If possible, avoid working overtime during the holiday season. If you have to, make sure you take something else out of your agenda so that you have some time for yourself.
Be realistic. Everyone wants to have the perfect holiday with their friends and family. While this would be nice, it’s not always possible. Things don’t always go as smoothly as planned. Family traditions will change over time and that’s okay. You can stick with some traditions, but you can also create new ones. It gets even harder when your children get older and move away. They may not always be able to make it to your house for the holidays. Find other ways to celebrate with them. A phone call, an email, a video, whatever works.
Take a moment to relax. During the chaos in preparing for the holidays, be sure you take a moment or two for yourself just to breathe and relax. Most people might forget to do this when they’re trying to get so many things done. Taking fifteen minutes. Get a massage, read a book, take a relaxing bath. Give yourself time to de-stress and clear your mind so that you are able to successfully handle the rest of the holiday preparation.
In all of your preparation for the holiday season, don’t forget to take a moment and remember what the holidays are actually supposed to be about. The gifts and the delicious food are wonderful, but the time spent with family and friends is the most precious gift of all.