5 Tips to Reduce Your (and Your Child’s) Holiday Stress
Reduce holiday stress and let this season be filled with meaningful, joyful noise!
Every holiday really is the best of times and the worst of times. As the holiday season approaches, your stress level will undoubtedly escalate. Our tidings of joy and comfort can so easily be devoured by the relentless stress of doing it all, getting it all, and buying it all.
In addition to your regular work schedule, home and kids, you’ve got more shopping to do, menus to plan, and food to prepare. And because stress can ripple out to our spouse, children, coworkers, and others, the benefits of reducing it ripple out to others too. The good news is that you can still lower your holiday stress even with all the extra activities and preparations.
To help you along your journey, here are some proven strategies to help you reduce your holiday stress.
1. Start your holiday planning and preparations earlier.
Think about how much less stressed you would be if you had all your gift shopping and wrapping done in advance.
- Plan your holiday menus in advance as well. This way, you’ll have the menu set and the store lists made. As the holidays get closer, review your menus and shopping lists and make any minor adjustments you feel like.
- You’ll experience less stress during the holiday season if you spread holiday tasks over a longer period of time.
2. Scale down your holiday plans.
This strategy can be challenging to implement. Adults occasionally have an excessively idealistic view of the holidays that arises from their childhood experiences. Letting go of your ideal holiday fantasy is a necessary step in scaling down your plans.
- Basically, just be aware that you don’t have to recreate the unique holiday memory you already have in mind. To express your love for others, you don’t need to buy them the best present, spend the most money, or fill a whole room with wrapped presents.
- The idea that “it’s the thought that counts” ought to be embraced. Most people will never remember the cool gift you got for them that one year. But they will have warm memories of the time you spent together as a family.
3. Take time-saving shortcuts.
Find quicker solutions to do things that will provide more time for other holiday tasks and activities.
- One excellent scenario: Rather than baking the pie for yourself, order from a nearby establishment. Look for a bakery that is well-known for its delectable baked goods but is also reasonably priced. This will save you time, money, and energy.
- When shopping, don’t be afraid to select gift cards as holiday gifts. The fact is that many people prefer receiving a gift card rather than choosing exactly what they want. Gift cards are easy to shop for, satisfy almost everyone, and are less expensive than wrapping paper. Basically, gift cards are “no hassle, no fuss” transactions.
4. Acknowledge that everything doesn’t need to be perfect.
Accept that you can enjoy some beautiful holiday get-togethers regardless of whether something is spilled or things never go as planned.
- Do not get too influenced by the commercials and movies on television about the holiday season. Sometimes they really miss the mark when it comes to realistic portrayals of family holidays.
5. Decide on your course of action
Consider what the holidays truly mean to you, and then express that meaning in your celebrations. Avoid getting caught up in the commercialism that has engulfed the entire holiday season.
- Some would say that holidays are “all about the shopping.” However, it’s worth your time to think about what ideas you hope to portray to your friends and loved ones during this season.
- Let go of the feeling required to plan and carry out big extravagant celebrations. Maybe instead of big whoop-de-doo gatherings, you’d really rather have smaller, more intimate gatherings with friends.
- The best way to teach your children that the holidays are about giving and sharing with others, take them to visit local charities or even to serve meals at a church soup kitchen.
Decide to take steps this year to lessen your holiday stress. You can significantly lower your stress level by letting go of the need to be perfect, starting holiday preparations earlier, lowering expectations, and taking shortcuts to save time.
Think about what you really want the holidays to mean to you and your family. Then you can let go of expectations based on the past and really enjoy your time together. Isn’t that ultimately why we celebrate the holidays?
Refusing to let stress run your life is a daily choice. Let’s put in the extra effort to get our minds and hearts in a good place for this upcoming holiday season!
Did you find this helpful? Check out our other parenting blog posts at the Confident Voice Studio blog.