The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be stressful. On top of day-to-day stress, managing family visits, shopping for gifts or groceries, planning holiday meals and more can sometimes be overwhelming. Here are some practical tips to help minimize the stress that comes with the holidays.
- Plan ahead. Planning your commitments, shopping and even cooking ahead of time can help the holidays go smoothly.
- Say no. With holiday commitments, it’s okay to say no to a few (or all of them). There is only so much of you to go around, and establishing boundaries can help you reduce stress.
- Plan spending. Making a budget, and sticking to it, is important this time of year. Don’t buy gifts that you’ll be paying off for the rest of the year .
- Automate your major payments. Never pay for late charges, or ding your credit score, by missing or delaying reoccurring payments for credit cards, mortgages, utilities and more. By using AutoPay, you save yourself the hassle of remembering key dates around the holidays!
- Create relaxing surroundings. Research has found that listening to music and the scent of citrus can boost feelings of well-being. If you’re feeling particularly stressed, turn on some music, light some candles or open the windows to get some fresh air.
- Maintain healthy habits. This time of year is notorious for ruining healthy habits. You might not have time for your full workout regimen, but make an effort to maintain a few healthy routines.
- Share feelings. The holidays can be emotional – especially if you’re spending a holiday after a loss in the family. Opening up about your feelings may help you feel less alone.
- Respect differences. It can be difficult being around family that has different viewpoints than your own. Try your best to focus on your similarities, and replace tension with forgiveness.
- Be realistic. You’re only one person and can only do so much. Be realistic with your expectations, and don’t expect everything to do perfectly.
- Take a break. Don’t forget about your own needs. Take a few minutes each day to take a nap, go for a short walk, read a book or do any other activity that helps you unwind.
Holidays are meant to be a fun, enjoyable time with friends and family. These tips can help ensure you truly enjoy your holidays when stress starts to set in.