6 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress
Filed under: Stress Reduction
You always hear about the joy of the holiday season, but every year it seems that stress and anxiety creep up to overshadow the happiness you should be feeling. There’s never enough time to get everything done, you dread receiving your credit card bills in January, or family feuds erupt. Sound familiar? The holidays can indeed be a stressful time for all of us, but identifying the source of your problems can be the first step to overcoming them.
Ask yourself what tends to spark your anxieties at this time of year. Then implement the following solutions, as appropriate for your situation.
Set limits, and then forgive yourself. No one should go into deep debt just to fulfill a gift list. Decide how much you can spend, stick with it, and discard any feelings of guilt or disappointment. In the future, you can try to save a little money each month so that you have a more generous gift budget for the following December. But this won’t be possible if you don’t stop the cycle of debt now.
Give personalized presents. A gift doesn’t have to cost a lot, in order to be meaningful. In fact, the best presents are the ones that come from the heart. Talk with your extended family about setting a spending limit; they might be relieved you brought it up! You could even start a new family tradition of giving homemade gifts only.
Don’t over-schedule yourself. Sometimes you will have to say “no”, and that’s okay. Make a list of your top four or five priorities (this will probably consist of valuable family traditions). You can add more events if you have time, but identifying what is most important to you will help you reap maximum enjoyment from the season without over-scheduling yourself.
Delegate responsibility. Invite friends over to help decorate, ask grandparents to help look for hard-to-find items, or pay children to wrap gifts (just not their own, of course). If you think creatively, you can find ways to ask for help with all of your seasonal chores.
Shop online. You can find just about any gift online, and you’ll save hours on driving, parking, standing in lines, and so on. Just remember to check estimated delivery dates before you “check out”, to help ensure that packages arrive on time.
Take advantage of extended mall hours. Most stores extend their hours during this time of year, opening several hours early in the morning and staying open late at night. If your kids just insist on visiting Santa or another holiday attraction, take them to the mall at 9 am on a Tuesday instead of 3 pm on a Saturday afternoon. They’ll enjoy it more, and you’ll feel less stressed.
Of course, stress can occur at all times of the year, too. For more information on stress reduction strategies that will keep your entire family healthy, contact me and I’ll be happy to share a life changing technology that’s helped me deal with the everyday stress we all experience.