Ah, the holiday season! Food, family, friends… and stress. So. Much. Stress. Here are 9 quick tips to help reduce the stress so you can enjoy the food, family, and friends.
(If you have tips of your own, please share in the comments below – you’ll be making the world a better place this holiday season! :) )
No matter what situation your stress is coming from, it’s important to take a step back from the stress to hold onto your sanity.
Try some or all of the following tips to cut your stress this holiday season:
- Get Your Shopping Done Early. When you get your shopping out of the way early, you can save yourself stress on a number of levels. You won’t be battling other shoppers during peak shopping times. You won’t have to worry about making split second decisions on gifts. You’ll also have the time to craft a budget to help make your money stretch to the best of your ability.
- Take Time to Yourself. We often take the time to think of others during the holidays. While that’s very important to maintain, you can’t forget about yourself in the process. Remember to schedule “me” time and concentrate on winding down. In order to take good care of others, you first have to take care of your own health and well being.
- Keep a Cool Head. While it may not be a problem with every family, sometimes the togetherness causes conflicts and clashing. Before you enter a family holiday event, tell yourself that you’ll take the high road. You don’t want an argument to ruin your chance at fun during the holidays.
- Keep Up Your Self-care Routine. Sometimes the thrill of the holiday season can disrupt your daily routines. While a little break from exercise might not make a big difference in your physique, it might make a difference when it comes to your stress level. Try to keep up some form of exercise, as it will provide you with a release from stress. Similarly, try to maintain your meditation practice, if you have one.
- Watch your Diet. It’s not fair to yourself to completely avoid indulging around the holidays, but at the same time you should always remain in control. Watch what you’re putting into your body, because large amounts of certain foods can definitely affect how you feel. The two big ones to watch are caffeine and sweets.
- Buy Yourself a Present. While you’ve been budgeting money for everyone else, there’s no reason why you can’t buy yourself a little something. After all, you’re sure to be getting something that you want. You can even schedule yourself a massage, which is an excellent way to maintain a healthy stress level.
- Get Enough Rest. The excitement definitely kicks in during the holidays. Sometimes you’ll lose sleep because of stress, and sometimes you’ll lose sleep because of excitement. Either way, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by concentrating on relaxation and getting to bed at a good hour. If you start a pattern of getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night, you could be setting yourself up for stress without even really knowing it.
- Learn to Delegate. If you come to the realization that you’ve been put in charge of too many things, don’t pile on the stress – instead, delegate the tasks. Be wise enough to know when you need some help and ask for it. You can even get the kids involved with certain preparations.
- Be Flexible. Of course you have an image in your head of how you’d like certain holiday events to play out. You also know that things don’t always go according to plan. Realize that certain things will not be perfect, and you won’t feel so much stress if things do go wrong. Go with the flow and have back up plans if necessary.
What are your secrets for reducing holiday stress? Spread the joy – share them below! :)