With all the holly and jolly of the holidays, we tend to forget that it is also one of the most stressful times of the year. With less sunlight, increased demand on time and energy (deadlines, shopping lists, family events, etc) and the general societal expectations to be ‘happy’ for the holidays, many of these can contribute to severe holiday stress. There is simply too much to enjoy this time of the year so we collected 5 tips to help increase the fun and minimize the stress.
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff
We all want that perfect Christmas spread, the must have items checked off the shopping list or the best decoration, but instead, be realistic. Re-using last years decorations,slightly overbaking your gingerbread cookies or not getting every gift you had on your gift list may not be perfect, but also not detrimental, so save yourself the anxiety and don’t sweat the small stuff.
2. Prioritize your needs
Find out what the holiday period means for you and what is it that you want to accomplish during this time. Is it time for vacation with your significant other? Or is it time with kids and family? Or perhaps it’s the perfect time to catch up on all the books you’ve wanted to read throughout the year. Whatever the holiday priority you assign, allow that to be your main compass when facing a slew of engagements and distractions. By asserting your needs, it will help you to focus and feel less scattered.
3. Plan time to unwind.
It sure sounds simple, but with the onslaught of holiday bombardment that started immediately after Halloween ended, it makes for alot of clutter to deal with. This is why planning some down time away for tasks, errands, work and even people to recharge your batteries can be incredibly beneficial. With so many holiday events filling your December calendar, it can get draining to socialize non stop. So plan some relaxation time to balance out the hectic holidays.
Whether it’s having a crazy family or the rush of deadline at work before the end of the year, as long as you accept the inevitable to happen, you will be in control of the situation. No need to be frazzled if your aunt asks you every year why you’re not married yet or if a snowstorm always hinders your drive or the checkout line is so long, just anticipate it and accept it so you can still enjoy yourself around it.
5. Focus on the positive
Stress itself is a negative reaction your body is having to certain situations. The best way to fight that is simply to focus on gratitude and the positive. Despite the long drive to get to your family’s house, wasn’t it worth it to spend time together? It’s sometimes just a matter of perspective, so when an usual trigger for your stress arises, try to think of the reason why you are doing it and focus on the positive.