The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the dreaded holiday stress. For many people, this means dealing with a lot more stress than usual. On top of your everyday stresses, you’re now faced with planning or attending holiday dinners, getting gifts for everyone, keeping the kids occupied on winter vacation, and of course, your in-laws. If you like your in-laws consider yourself lucky for one less stress in your life. For the rest of us, their visit cannot end fast enough.
These overwhelming challenges undoubtedly make us feel stretched too thin as we’re pulled in multiple directions at once. Fortunately, there are things we can do to minimize stress from now through the new year.
Ten Ways To Manage Holiday Stress:
Don’t Be Afraid To Say No, And Mean It
If you don’t want to host dinner, go to someone else’s for dinner, or simply can’t do something due to lack of time or funds just say, no. You in no way should feel obligated to do things that won’t allow you to maintain your boundaries. After you say no you’ll probably be pressured into doing whatever it is you don’t want to do, but stand firm. Let it be known that your no is your final answer and there is no going back on it. Putting limitations on what you will and will not do, in general, but especially during the holiday season will save your sanity.
Unplug To Take Time For You
The holiday season is hectic so taking some time for you to regroup is important. Let family and friends know that you’re going to be unreachable for a day or so. Unplugging from emails and social media will allow your mind and body to get back in sync with each other. Enjoy the time you spend alone rejuvenating yourself. No matter how you decide to spend the time, the important thing is you’re doing something for YOU.
The holiday season is about doing something for others but let’s not forget that it’s also equally important that you do something for yourself. In other words, treat yourself. Whether it be that luxury item you’ve been eyeing all year or a stack of new books or hobby materials. The point is, you’re showing yourself a bit of appreciation, after all, you earned it.
Make A List Of Everything You Need To Do Starting With The Most Important
There’s a lot more to the holiday season than just gathering with loved ones and opening presents. The behind-the-scenes work can be chaotic, overwhelming, and draining. So for this reason it’s best that you create a to-do list or use a planner to help plan your holiday calendar and to track your tasks. Writing down your tasks and checking them off as you complete them may seem like extra work but it will alleviate the stress of having to remember everything and rushing to get things done at the last minute.
Don’t Set Impossible Goals
Now that you have your to-do list and your planner ready try not to overfill it with goals and tasks. I know in your mind you have a lot of things you want to be done but you have to be realistic about your ability to actually do them. Trying to do too much in a small window of time is a sure-fire way to quickly burn yourself out. Set goals that make sense that you know can be completed without additional hassle.
Try To Keep Your Regular Routine
Following your normal routine will help you feel more relaxed and in control. When you don’t get enough sleep, eat right, or cram too much in a single day or week it can leave you feeling sad, stressed, and depressed. So take a look at your daily schedule and add your holiday to-dos in between. Don’t overflow your daily schedule even if your day is empty. Keeping your schedule light and flexible will help keep the holiday stress and chaos to a minimum.
Maintain Your Boundaries And Stay Away From Toxic Relatives
Just because it’s the holidays that doesn’t mean that you have to spend time with toxic relatives. If someone you wish to avoid is attending the same holiday dinner as you protect your boundaries and cancel. Dealing with toxic people is draining and the last thing you want to be is stressed because of someone’s negative views and disposition.
Get Some Exercise
Exercising helps to clear your mind and improve your overall mood. After a walk or jog around your neighborhood, you’ll feel more energetic and clear-headed. Hitting the gym is also a great place to release pent-up frustration. If getting out locally or even making it to the gym seems impossible, not to worry take a time out and give these health and wellness podcasts a listen.
Set A Budget
Setting a budget for the holidays is crucial. A lot of stress is centered around the lack of money or because you’ve overspent. Whichever your situation look at your financials and see what you can afford to spend and not spend. Keep track of this. Even if it means reducing the number of gifts you buy. Remember, it’s not about how many gifts you give but the thought you put into what you give. So instead of 5 gifts seek out one item. It could be something the person has been asking for or something that will compliment what they already have.
Live In The Moment
The holiday season should be a time of joy and happiness. Be sure that you’re present and connecting. Living in the moment is how you’ll ensure that you and everyone else around you is truly basking in the holiday spirit.