Holiday bliss can easily turn into holiday stress. With increasingly long to-do lists, a full social calendar and expectations that are often higher than they should be, this time of year is notorious for adding to everyday stress levels.
But there’s no need to let the holidays make you frenzied and frantic. Not only does stress reduce your enjoyment of the season’s festivities, but it’s also bad for your physical and mental health.
Want a less stressful holiday season? Here are 7 tips that can help:
Learn To Say No
We tend to go overboard trying to please everyone at this time of year. But sometimes you just have to turn down an invitation or decline to be in charge of organizing the neighborhood cookie exchange. When you have too much on your plate, it’s okay to politely say “no” to anything extra. Pick and choose what’s important to you and forget the rest.
Have too much to do at this time of year? Making a to-do list can help. This helps you set priorities, plan your strategy to get things done and check things off so you can see your accomplishments.
You don’t have to do everything yourself. Enlist the help of others and you’ll all enjoy a more stress-free holiday. Any time something doesn’t require your expert attention, think about asking someone else to do it.
Many people get so wrapped up in their ideal of what a “perfect” holiday should be like, but that only adds to the stress rather than the enjoyment. Try to be more realistic and let things slide. You’ll be a lot less stressed when you’re not always shooting to achieve some unattainable goal.
Establish New Traditions
If trying to keep old traditions alive has you burning the candle at both ends, come up with new ones that work for your life and your family. Your current responsibilities may not make it easy to enjoy the holidays the way you remember them as a kid. And that’s perfectly okay. Create new customs and traditions that fit your life now and you’ll more likely enjoy the holidays in a whole new – and less stressful – light.
Maintain Healthy Habits
Sure, your schedule is jam-packed and you have tons to do. But don’t let that stop you from taking time to care for yourself. Stick to a healthy eating plan and don’t skip meals. Make time for exercise. Even if you can’t get in your usual routine, find ways to add physical activity to your day. Get enough sleep. And take at least 15 minutes a day just for you – read, take a walk, close your eyes – do whatever refreshes and recharges you.
Focus On The Positive
When things get overwhelming, focus on all that makes you happy and try to overlook the rest. Even though there are many aspects of holiday preparation and even holiday celebrations that can stress you out, there’s always something good and positive. Keep that in mind rather than sweating the small stuff and you’ll emerge on January 1st as a less stressed-out version of yourself.