7 Tips to Fend Off Holiday Stress
Holiday stress can affect anyone, even children. There are a lot of expectations around the holidays. Many people associate the holidays with family gatherings, parties, and happy memories. These expectations can be stressful.
Add to that the fact that you still resent what Uncle Bill did last Christmas and the possibility that your relatives might have COVID-19, and the holidays just got even more stressful.
We know holidays should be a time of joy, excitement, and anticipation. However, there are numerous factors that contribute to our stress and anxiety.
You may feel pressure to buy and give gifts. Maybe you are worried about money. The cost of gifts, travel, and extra food can really add up in a hurry. Get-togethers can be loud and crowded. You may also go through an emotional roller coaster. All these things make you feel more stressed than usual.
When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try these 7 steps to ensure you have a stress-free holiday:
1. Plan Ahead
One of the main reasons that planning ahead is so important is that it allows you to budget and stay organized for all aspects of holiday events.
Stay with in your budget
- The holidays are stressful enough without creating more stress by overspending.
- Controlling your holiday spending is an essential aspect of a healthy financial life. Do not overspend, and always stick to your budget plan.
- Avoid the trap of believing that you have to spend a lot of money to make someone happy. Gifts are soon forgotten, but the bills can last a long, long time.
Anticipate unexpected events.
- The holidays bring unexpected events like bad weather, traffic, travel, crowds, and more people than you’re used to dealing with in your home.
- Expect that nothing will go as planned and decide to enjoy the holidays anyway. Chances are, things will turn out better than you thought they would.
Avoid scheduling too much.
- Trying to do too much can create stress regardless of the time of year.
- Plan to see the people that are most important to you and skip the rest.
- Only attend the parties that are most important to you. Strive for quality over quantity.
2. Maintain Healthy Eating Habits.
Healthy habits frequently get destroyed around the holidays. A quick morning workout will improve your decision-making all day. It’s even more important to focus on your diet than usual.
- Try to do activities that you and your kids will enjoy, like snowshoeing or sledding, to get extra exercise.
- Eat healthy snacks like fresh fruit or vegetables throughout the season.
- Remember, eating a lot of junk or unhealthy food leads to a stressed body. Be kind to yourself, and encourage your family to keep their food intake as healthy as possible.
3. Saying “No.”
When it comes to holiday commitments, it is OK to say no to a few or all of them. It will also help relieve some stress.
- Try sharing your to-do list with other family members.
- For the things that need to be accomplished, divide the task among everyone. Involve your children in simple tasks to develop a sense of responsibility in them.
4. Get Some Sun.
Wintertime in the northern hemisphere results in shorter days. Many people react negatively to inadequate sunlight. Spend an hour each day soaking up as much sunlight as you can by sitting beside a window with good solar exposure. You’ll feel less stressed. Use the time to read a book or make phone calls.
5. Make The Choice to Be as Happy as Possible.
Decide to enjoy the holidays as much as you can. Choose to be optimistic. Your attitude colors your perception.
- You’ll be more likely to enjoy yourself if you expect good things to happen.
- Have a festive spirit, spread cheer, and escape from the pressures of real life. Keep in mind that your attitude will undoubtedly affect others around you.
6. Take a Break.
Plan days off during the holidays. Don’t forget about your own needs. Consider giving yourself a day off before and after get-togethers. You might need it big time!
- Use this time however you please. Take a nap, go for a short walk, read a book or watch a funny movie.
7. Practice gratefulness.
The attitude of gratefulness fosters a calm spirit. It helps you worry less about mishaps, inconveniences, and perceived slights when gratitude is in your heart.
- Try to write down at least three things for which you are grateful at the end of each day.
- Encourage your kids and whole family to do this too. It’s easier to relax and enjoy yourself when you know you have a lot to be thankful for.
Holidays can be hectic, but one thing never changes– it’s fun! Don’t let any stress affect your holiday season.
Have fun and maintain a light heart. If you encounter a problem, remember that this too shall pass.
When we stay lighthearted, it reminds us that the holidays aren’t about being perfect. It is a time to laugh, be with those we love, and create memories.
Did you find this helpful? Check out our other parenting blog posts at the Confident Voice Studio blog.