This holiday season is the perfect time to reflect on our blessings, celebrate with the people we love, and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.
However, even though it’s already the most wonderful time of the year, stress is always just around the corner, which can ruin happy moments.
What is holiday stress?
Holiday stress can be different from the usual stress you encounter, which can affect everyone, even kids.
Holiday preparations should be fun, and Christmas day is supposed to be magical. However, there are also a lot of expectations during this day that can lead to stress.
But don’t worry, because even though holiday stress is very common, there are ways to get rid or it or prevent it head on. It’s all about planning ahead and making realistic choices to make your holiday happier and easier to live out.
So in this last month of the year, especially on Christmas day, here are five things you can do to ease holiday stress:
1. Plan ahead and organize
Rush shopping and gift wrapping can drive you crazy, as well as last-minute house cleaning. To prevent anxieties from kicking in, start early so you can finish early.
Finish all your paperworks and deadlines before Christmas so you will have all the time in the world to enjoy.
Also, make a shopping list and set your holiday budget so you will know your top priorities and prevent overspending. Make sure you still have some money to save, don’t pour it all out on shopping. Saving is still better than going broke this holiday. You’ll never know when those extra cash might come in handy.
Decluttering is also important to make room for incoming presents and gift wrapping area. Lastly, get the house ready as early as you can if you’re going to invite people over. This will give you more time to add decorations if you like, so you can design your house the best way you can.
2. Set realistic expectations and boundaries
You always have the authority to decide how much money you’ll spend, who to invite to your home, or where elese to go and how long to stay there.
Therefore, if someone invites you over, or if you plan to go somewhere else, check your schedule first to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I mean, you cannot go to your family’s house, then leave within an hour just to attend your friend’s party. Family should come first, especially at this time of the year. But that doesn’t mean you cannot go out to socialize and party with others.
Learn to set expectations and boundaries. Learn to say no if you have to, in order to prevent stress. Coordinate carefully with the people you want to spend time with, so you can all create a schedule that works for everybody.
3. Stay away from family conflict
Even the best families can drive you crazy this holiday season. Just like you, your family also wants to have the most beautiful and most unforgettable holiday ever, especially on Christmas. That means sharing different opinions, design ideas, and back-to-back schedules.
To prevent family conflict, learn how to control your emotions and be a peace-maker this season.
Also, focus only on what you can control and contribute. If you see that your family is having a crazy time organizing and preparing, ask them to allow you to share ideas and assign roles to everyone.
If tasks are already properly delegated, everyone must stick to it. Doing this is a fair way since everyone has their own responsibilities to do, and no one will be left a couch potato. Your brother will not be left playing video games the whole day while everybody is busy preparing. You can ask the kids to do the decoration too.
4. Limit time on social media
This season, a lot of people are flexing their house decorations, intense gift wrapping videos, and overly decorated Christmas tree. There is also plenty of overwhelming information you can see on news and social media platforms.
If holiday stress is kicking in, stay off on social media. Your family tradition differs from other families, so never compare.
Social media brings a lot of fantasy. And sadly, many of the perfect pictures and videos you see on the internet are not real. Because behind the perfectly cooked turkey, tons of foods, and grand presents can be hidden family fights or a pile of credit card debts.
Instead of mimicking or comparing what you see on social media, focus on family traditions, smart planning, quality food, and realistic holiday expectations.
Make connection with your family your number one priority by sharing laughters over the dinner table, starting positive conversations, and feeling grateful for all the blessings that came and will soon be coming your way.
5. Get plenty of sleep and stay healthy
With all the holiday preparations, bonding time, and delicious foods, health is mostly overlooked by many people.
You can still enjoy the holidays while being healthy at the same time. All you have to do is to have enough sleep and maintain healthy eating habits.
One of the most powerful tools to beat anxiety and stress is sufficient sleep. Yes, watching Christmas movies and series are one of the nicest things you can do to enjoy the holiday. However, you should also know when to prioritize sleep. You can stay up late once or twice a week, but never every night.
And lastly, don’t forget to go outside and move. Encourage your family and friends to do the same too. You can walk around the neighborhood every morning or even play snowball fights. Anything that can get your body moving is better than nothing.
Our warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful happy holiday!
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