Tips to Stress-less During the Holidays
Holiday time can be quite stressful, with shopping and baking and trying to find that “perfect” gift. Add to this decorating the house, writing Christmas cards and either hosting or attending holiday parties. All while either working at your job or on your own business. The combination equals stress and anxiety that can take the spirit out of the season. This holiday can be a little more stressful for some due to worry about money.
To top it off, trying to balance it all can lead to more worry and stress, whether you are aware or not. Those little voices in the background may be screaming “it’s not enough” or ‘what will people think’ or, yet, you won’t be able to get everything done – Christmas will be ruined.’ I’m sure you can identify and, perhaps, have even more of these types of thoughts.
If you find yourself struggling to stress-less this holiday season, here are some tips to help you survive and enjoy the season:
- Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete, such as Christmas card list, gift list, food, etc. Have specific action steps and completion dates. Start by penciling in events on your calendar to help yourself manage your time effectively.
Having a schedule for how you will balance between your work activities and holiday activities will make your schedule less stressful, as you will know what to do and when. When you check-off completed tasks, you will more of a sense of accomplishment which will lesson any overwhelm you may be experiencing.
- Set a limit for spending and how you will pay for your purchases. Overspending will only add to your stress, as will maxing out your credit cards so you avoid the new year credit card blues. Consider opening a Christmas Club account with your bank or a credit union so you will have the cash next year.
- Look for deals- look on line and the circulars in the paper. Look for coupons and specials. Many stores have special deals, such as buy one, get one, etc. (be sure to look at the fine print). See what you can make, or have someone else (i.e. Etsy) – homemade gifts take time and effort and are more meaningful.
- Plan your destinations and times – it is less crowded during the day or evenings as opposed to the weekend. If possible, go late at night to stores that are either open 24 hours or have late evening hours. You may find good deals then, as stores will be looking for sales at that hour. Set aside a couple of hours a week to do your baking, decorating or gift-wrapping. You will get a lot accomplished.
- Take time to debrief – have a good meal, exercise, watch a holiday movie, take a walk, or practice deep breathing, anything to relieve your stress and get your energy up. Focus on what is meaningful to you.
- Learn to say no – know your boundaries; don’t overtax yourself too much. Say no when you feel overly stressed or pressured into doing things you don’t want to do. You can only do so much – over-giving never leads to getting back so know your limits and honor them.
- Have fun by being with friends or family, listening to Christmas music or watching holiday movies. Take a drive and look at the decorated houses or stores. Take time to truly enjoy the season which can give new meaning to it.
- Give back – there are many people who are in need and you can make a difference by either volunteering your time to a charity or making a donation. Remembering the spirit of the season can be the best stress-reliever of all. Giving to others take the focus off of your issues and ‘all those tasks’ won’t seem surmountable.
This year, I’m vowing to stress-less; I didn’t over-decorate, which makes me appreciate how my house looks and feels; I am not going to over-spend on gifts this year, as I’ve done in the past; and I’m having to remind myself daily that things will work out fine. Try these tips and see how they help you to truly enjoy the ‘reason for the season.’