The holidays are a joyful time of year that is also stressful for many people. With so much to get done in such a short period of time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and irritable. But there are a few things you can do to reduce holiday stress and enjoy yourself more.
Plan Your Holiday
Start by planning your holiday early in the season and get organized. If you are hosting Christmas at your home, plan your menu and stock the pantry several weeks before the holiday. Purchase table linens, paper goods, sodas, liquor and wine in advance, so you’ll have less to do as the holiday nears.
Organize holiday decorations well in advance by taking items out of storage and checking to see if they are in good condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than realizing that last year’s Christmas lights are not working on the day you are decorating the house. But a little planning will save you a lot of stress.
Overspending is one of the top reasons people get stressed out during the holidays. So, set a gift budget with your family before you begin shopping. When buying gifts, look for thoughtful items that are well within the budget and stick to it.
Long lines at the checkout and searching for parking at the mall are big stress triggers. Avoid this by shopping early in the season to get the best selection and prices. Check out what’s popular in toys before you shop. Also, take advantage of online shopping to avoid the stress of lines and crowds. Remember, when you’re stressed, you may tend to overspend!
Overworking yourself during the holidays can cause stress, as well as make you feel run down. To avoid this, be sure to get enough sleep and exercise to keep your energy levels up.
Be realistic about your time and make choices about what matters most. Would you rather spend quality time with family or go to a business party to please your boss? If you find it hard to decide how to split up your time make compromises. If you have more than one commitment on the same night, limit your time at each one.
To reduce holiday stress, remember to keep things in perspective. Instead of baking dozens of cookies, just make your favorites. To save time wrapping, use gift bags and tissue paper for smaller gifts. Put out a few of your prettiest decorations so you’ll have less to put away later on.
By changing just a few of the ways you prepare for the holidays, you can reduce stress and enjoy yourself more