It's that time of year again! I don't know about you but after Halloween is over, I tend to skip Thanksgiving and automatically start to think about Christmas. For me, I start thinking about everything I love about Christmas time; the smells, the sounds, family, cookie exchanges, cutting down our christmas tree, decorating, lights and so much more!
For those of you that know me, I am a Christmas fanatic!! However, the one thing I dislike is the stress that goes into it. In Great Britain, the word holiday means the same thing as vacation. For many, the holidays are not a time of rest, relaxation and joy, they are a time of stress, anger and anxiety. Planning for the holidays can leave many feeling impatient, cranky and sometimes even a little depressed. When the realities of day-to-day life conflict with our efforts to make the holiday season perfect, stress results.
Here are some examples of holiday stressors and what you can do to minimize the stress so that you can have a relaxing, enjoyable and joyous holiday season:
Holiday Shopping Stress
- Ask people what they want instead of trying to find the "perfect" gift.
- Shop early, when there is more of a selection and sales.
- Online shop!
- Stick to a budget and do not stray from it.
- If you are crafty, make some of your gifts.
- Cook and freeze foods ahead of time.
- Ask others to bring a dish instead of preparing everything yourself.
- If you don't like to cook, don't feel like you have to! You can cater or go out to eat, it's not cheating. The holidays are a time to be with family and friends and not stress over the food that you are eating. It is a time to be thankful.
Scheduling Time with Family and Friends
- Simplify holiday commitments and traditions. Discuss what family traditions are most important to you and your family. It is okay to reevaluate past traditions. One of the biggest stressors for many people are traditions. Some members of families are so set on certain family traditions and not willing to stray from them that sometimes it can push people away. Everyone's life changes and family has to be willing to adapt to that.
- Allow time for yourself. Don't get caught up in the season for giving. Taking care of yourself is just as important, if not more important, as taking care and giving to others. Without your health and happiness, how can you make others happy?
- Don't over schedule yourself. The holidays should be a time of relaxation and joy. Remember, holiday means vacation.
- Make sure to tell your family members about your other commitments so you are not struggling to meet their expectations.
- Do not travel during rush hour.
- When traveling long distances, make sure to stop and rest.
- Avoid overeating. I know this is always a tricky one to do around the holidays. However, overeating can quickly turn into a slippery slope that you do not want to go down.
- Avoid starving yourself before a holiday party or meal. This will lead to overeating and eating foods that may not be the healthiest option.
- Continue to exercise and watch your diet. Many people stop going to the gym around the holiday when, in reality, this is the most crucial time to continue to go to the gym. I know the holidays are a busy and stressful time but exercising relieves stress. Build your workout into your schedule so that you don't have an excuse not to go.
Manage Your Time
- Set priorities and let go of impossible goals.
- Stop and breath! Set aside some time during the day to relax and appreciate all of your hard work.
- Take time you need to finish tasks that are important to you. You don't have to complete everything at once. Set priorities and goals that are attainable.
- Ask your kids or your significant other to help! Don't do everything on your own.
- Listen to your body and rest when it tells you to.
The holidays don't have to be a stressful time. It is meant to be a vacation, a time to be spent with your loved ones. If you find yourself getting too stressed, stop, breath, and think about what the holidays are really about. I love the holiday season because there is always so much love and magic in the air. I have stopped trying to live up to the stereotypical "Christmas craziness" and started relaxing and enjoying every second of the season. Enjoy the time you can spend with your family and friends during the magical holiday season.
I hope you have an amazing, stress free holiday season everyone!!
Until next time!