Holiday Stress Busters – 24 Practical Tips
The holidays are a busy time and it’s easy to let the hustle and bustle wear you down. Check out these easy to follow stress busting steps to keep you happy and healthy through all of the seasonal activities.
SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
- No matter how organized a person may be, some things can’t be avoided such as double-booked holiday celebrations or weather delays. Promise yourself to let go of things you can’t control and to enjoy the season despite the occasional setbacks.
- Make this year the year to stop playing “keeping up with the holiday joneses”. Celebrate in a manner that suits you and your family, not the fictional families pictured in holiday movies.
- Focus on enjoying the smaller things. Less can be more, especially during the holidays.
- Enjoying the holidays can be difficult if you’re worn out or sick. Listen to your body and rest when needed. That last gift wrapping or batch of cookies can wait.
- Avoid overspending on gifts and merriment to save a lot of stress after the holidays. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Your wallet and conscience will thank you later.
- Togetherness is great, until it becomes too much. Don’t be afraid to call it a night when nerves start to fray.
- If family squabbles are common, ask your fellow guests not to bring up topics involving hard feelings. This is easier said than done but it might help keep the peace.
SPEND YOUR TIME WISELY
- Pace activities around your schedule and don’t be afraid to set aside time for yourself.
- Write a list of all the items you need to purchase, including gifts and groceries, and try to reduce the number of shopping trips and destinations.
- Save yourself some hassle and shop at off-peak hours and days. Though a Saturday shopping spree at the mall sounds tempting, a quick trip after work during the week may save some time waiting in lines or hunting for parking spots.
- Don’t let holiday events sneak up on you. As early as possible, use a calendar to track important family events such as your child’s Christmas concerts and holiday pageants. Give yourself ample time on the days of those events to get out of work and to pack up the family to get to the venue.
- There are only so many weekends and family holiday events frequently have them filled well in advance. Invite your friends out for dinner during the work weeks before or after the holidays to spend time with your best buds. They will likely have similarly busy schedules and may appreciate a mid-week fete.
- Though it might be tempting to skip the gym during the holidays, keep your workout routine going.
- Are crowds not your thing? Online shopping is very popular and many stores offer free shipping. Be sure to pay attention to delivery dates and watch your emails closely in case an item is on backorder or has been delayed.
- Times are changing. It’s acceptable to use text messages and Facebook to invite guests to a casual gathering.
- Plan to organize and prep your tech gadgets ahead of family celebrations. Put fresh batteries in your camera, empty out your memory cards or phones and upload that perfect playlist before the big day.
- Not sure what to get the person who has everything? Try looking at their social media accounts such as Pinterest to find out their interests.
- Lighting the exterior of your house is getting easier. Look into inexpensive laser light projectors that do not require climbing onto your roof or tangles of light cords. It’s not only safer and easier, the tear down and storage will save time and stress afterwards.
- Unique and affordable gifts are easier than ever to find using the internet. Try searching for topics such as “fun cheap gifts” and enjoy the options at your fingertips.
- Take advantage of all of those extra holiday activities. Use a wearable fitness device to help track miles walked, calories burn and other personal fitness information and carry that inspiration into the new year.
- Remember to thaw your turkey or other freezer foods safely and ahead of time.
- If cooking for a crowd doesn’t sound like fun, warehouse membership stores and grocery chains offer wide varieties of prepped and ready appetizers and catered options. The real focus of a gathering is the company – not the food!
- Avoid an embarrassing party faux pas and ask your event guests ahead of time about any food allergies or dining requests so all visitors can enjoy the spread without worry. That shrimp cocktail or nut-covered cheeseball isn’t worth a trip to the emergency room.
- If you’re hosting an event, don’t be shy about throwing a potluck – many people love to help bring dishes and show off their new favorite recipe. If you’re a guest to an event, ask the host or hostess what you could bring. Paper party supplies such as napkins, plastic ware and tablecloths are another alternative.