Another Holiday Season is upon us! Some are already experiencing stress over the holidays upcoming schedule, expenses, and family gatherings. The economy is not helping with these sometimes overwhelming feelings either. So what is a person to do when Christmas activities begin to take over our time and our lives? To help you, we have come up with 13 tips for a stress free holiday season.
Did you catch yourself cursing at the driver who just snagged the parking spot you’ve been waiting patiently for?
Are you impatient with your kids? Your spouse?
Are you completely overwhelmed trying to make Christmas a memorable and magical moment for your loved ones?
Take a deep breath and slowly exhale. You are not alone. Pressing pause and easing up during this hectic time is so important to your sanity and your health…and your spouse’s health too ;).
As most of us know, stress is linked to a long list of ailments that would make even the Grinch take note. Heart disease, digestive discomfort, insomnia, migraines, immune disorder flare-ups, just to name a few.
In the days leading up to Christmas and New Year’s, make sure you take time to replenish yourself.
Tips for managing stress during the holidays
The holidays can be an overwhelming and stressful time for parents. Between Christmas expectations, crowded shopping malls, and the pressure to please everyone at the same time, is it any wonder most of us, particularly women, are running on empty? These helpful tips for managing stress during the holidays will help make sure you also take time for yourself.
1. Say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no
It’s okay to decline the last party invitation you received. And no one (and I mean no one) will die if you say no.
When you’re stressed, inhale as if your whole body is inhaling. Exhale as if your whole body is exhaling. You can practice deep breathing anywhere. Standing in line, waiting at a red light, sitting down at your desk… anywhere.
3. Limit your alcohol consumption during the holidays
If you drink wine, one super easy tip is to cut your wine with seltzer water and add berries. You still can enjoy your wine but you won’t have a headache the next day. And you won’t wake up feeling like you’ve been hit by Santa’s sleigh 😉
4. Hydrate and hydrate again
Your skin will love you and so will your love handles. This is one of the best and simplest acts of kindness you can show yourself.
5. Make time for you
Pencil yourself in your agenda every day. When you make the time to take care of you, you’ll find you have more to give to others. Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
6. Slay one thing off your Xmas to-do list
I have stopped sending out Christmas cards and I’m pretty sure no one noticed and have taken advantage of the in store wrapping services. What one thing can you scratch off your list?
7. Begin and end each day with gratitude
Every morning take inventory of 3-5 things you’re grateful for. Do the same before you go to bed. Inner happiness and joy begin with an attitude of Gratitude.
One thing we can do is to relax. When we are relaxed things seem to go smoother in every aspect of life, not just the holidays. This may be easier said than done but if we take the time to enjoy the journey through the season then we may be able to enjoy it more.
I relax by preparing or baking my favourites Christmas recipes such as the Gingerbread Cookie Smoothie below, the Christmas Cookie Sticks Recipe, the Chocolate Peppermint Truffles, the Be Merry with the Peppermint Hot Cocoa Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe, and the Adorable Mickey and Minnie Christmas Cake Balls Recipe!
Not having too many bright lights on the tree or around our home will help also. Subtle white, twinkling lights will give a relaxing feel to your home and give a sort of “winter wonderland” feel.
9. Bring a SHOPPING List
Holiday shopping can be a bit stressful. All the joy of getting your friends and loved ones that special gift, is unfortunately often times accompanied by stress. So sit back, and have yourself a warm, and soothing cup of hot cocoa, make your list, and check it twice.
There will be hustle and bustle while out shopping, but if we put in a Holiday CD or favourite playlist while we are driving, one that will really bring out the meaning of the whole time of year, then we may be able to focus on our tasks. While the songs are running through our mind, they are constantly giving us reminders of why we are doing what we are doing.
Before heading out Christmas shopping remember to take a list with you. If we go shopping without an idea of what to buy we will end up stressed because of the craziness that this season brings. We find ourselves wandering through the crowds looking around aimlessly. Knowing what the people that you are buying for like for Christmas gifts will guide us to finding that perfect Christmas gift before we hit the malls.
10. Plan a Holiday Budget
How much do you plan to spend for Christmas? This should include gift prices, wrappings, and decorative bags, bows, ribbons, greeting cards, and postage, food, and holiday travel. Physically make a list of these things as well. I always find that having a tangible list keeps me more focused, less stressed out, and leaves less room for error.
11. Shop Around
Use the Internet, magazines, and newspapers to find your best deals. Find coupons on items you know you are going to purchase, and check the coupons for expiration dates, and other fine print. Be wary of bargain offers that are based on the purchase of additional items. “Buy one, get one free”, or “free gift with purchase”, are useless if it is not needed. Some merchants will meet, or even beat another competitors prices, so look for deals such as those. To avoid been stressed out at the last minute, start your Christmas shopping on Black Friday!
12. TRY TO NOT OVER-INVITE
We all need to try to not over-invite or over-plan the parties. Sometimes the most enjoyable and most memorable holiday parties and gatherings are ones that offer simple, menus in a relaxed atmosphere versus an elaborate sit down meal if you do not have time for it.
13. Family Traditions
Throughout it all remember that this is a time for family just as much as it is for gatherings and gift giving outside of the family. Stick to your guns if someone wants to change your traditions and you do not agree. The holidays are celebrated differently by different people and there is no right or wrong way to celebrate. Your holiday traditions are meaningful to you so stand by them.
We all have schedules and chances are that fact will not change just because of the season. Keeping that in mind will work wonders in reclaiming the holidays.
Remember to fill yourself up every day and to follow these above tips for managing stress during the holidays, so that by Christmas morning you’re dancing will bells on!
I wish everyone a safe, joyful, and satiating holiday this year. I hope this helps you with your shopping needs, and may it find you free of stress, full of love, and able to complete your holiday to-do list.
If you’ve got a tip that helps you stay calm and centered during the holiday season, please leave a comment below!
Lots of Love,