Top Ten Ways To Make Your Holidays Less Stressful
Take time to think about your priorities. What would make the holidays perfect for you? What is realistic given your time, budget and other factors? Write down your priorities and stick to them as you go through the season.
Make a list of the things that you feel create the greatest stress during the holidays. Too many obligations? Too many gifts? Hate sending cards? Look at the list and decide what you can eliminate, change or delegate to gain some relief. Accept what you can’t change and move on. For example, if you dread writing cards but really don’t want to give it up, pare down your list to those people you know you won’t see over the holidays. You can also consider sending a group card to all the people in your department or company instead of each individual.
Advance planning is the key to reducing stress. Based on your holiday priorities, make a master list of the key jobs and realistic completion dates. Then, review the list and try to pare it down as much as possible. Are there still things on the list that you can you cut out or scale back?
You don’t need to be a one-person holiday band. Share the excitement and get others involved in the preparations. Divide up your master list and give each person at least one job that is appropriate for their age and ability.
Money worries are one of the biggest holiday stress factors. Determine what you can comfortably spend. Pare down your gift list to an absolute minimum. If you decide to stop giving gifts to certain people, let them know in advance. They’ll probably be relieved! Finally, gifts don’t have to cost a lot to be meaningful. Presents from the heart and kitchen, like cookies and breads are usually a wonderful and welcome treat.
Decide in advance what you want to buy for each person so that you don’t waste time wondering aimlessly in search of the “best” gift. Can you shop on-line and save yourself the hassle of traffic and standing in line? If you need to buy your gifts in person, plan a shopping route for maximum efficiency.
Decide in advance what you truly want to do and with whom you want to spend time. What will bring the most joy to your holidays? Practice saying “No” to everything else.
The holidays are about more than just the “big day.” Make the most out of each event along the way. Find special ways to enjoy activities such as decorating the house, making cookies, shopping and gift-wrapping.
It’s tough to do but essential to maintain your energy. Make social events more about enjoying the people rather than overindulging in eating and drinking. It’s also important to stick with your exercise program and be sure to get the sleep you need.
Find ways to treat yourself in small or big ways during the holidays with things or activities that bring you pleasure such as a long bath, relaxing in front of a crackling fire or snuggling up with a good book.
How’s that for the top ten?!