While the holidays have the power to be some of the most joyful times in your life, they can also be the cause of a great deal of stress. The stress can stem from many different situations such as family disagreements, scheduling conflicts, and money issues.
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 following some or all of the following tips:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 holiday memories.
4. Keep Up Your Exercise 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.
5. Watch your Diet. It’s not fair 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.
6. Treat Yourself. Is there something that you want to treat yourself to? It doesn’t need to be expensive or really cost any money (a hot bath, etc). Get creative, but take care of yourself and give yourself a treat!
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
Most importantly, have fun and make lots of memories!