How to Successfully Manage Holiday Stress?

The holidays are highly anticipated and promoted as a time of peace and joy. But sometimes, life gets in the way and they are anything but what people expect them to be. There might be financial worries, wondering how you’re going to manage to buy gifts for people; there might be worries about strained family relationships or even having to work too many hours to enjoy the festivities.

Handling all of this stress can be stressful enough, especially when you throw in the idea that society expects you to enjoy this time of year. So, it can lead to feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. There are strategies to successfully manage your holiday stress so that you feel rejuvenated, happy, and excited about the celebratory time ahead.

Successfully Manage Holiday Stress

Be Realistic

Many of us are perfectionists, and we place a lot of pressure on ourselves for the family home to be decorated in just the right way, to get the perfect gift for everyone on the list, and to put on a smile and be enthusiastic about all of the holiday tasks and activities. Remind yourself that you are one person doing many things, that there is only so much you can do in one day, and that feeling overwhelmed and irritable is a signal for you to slow down, and take a step back. The children will still love Christmas, even if the mistletoe isn’t pinned up.

Simplify Your Gift Giving

Giving elaborate gifts might seem like a realistic and doable idea back in September, but when November hits, your mind might be scrambled and you aren’t overflowing with gift ideas for anyone. 

- Egift cards. They make great gifts because they can be quickly purchased online and sent via email or text. No messing with wrapping paper, tape, and bows, with egift cards and with thousands of online retailers accepting them, you’re sure to pick a gift that will be well received by your loved one.

- A bottle of wine or sparkling cider. If you’re running late and need a gift to hand to the hostess when she opens the door, a bottle of wine or sparkling cider is sure to be graciously accepted.

- A thick, crusty loaf of bread. Go to your local bakery and purchase one of their many delicious holiday loaves. Think: Cranberry orange bread, brioche, apple cinnamon bread, Bobalky, and more.

- A photo frame. Regardless of the type of frame – wood, metal or glass, you simply can’t go wrong with gifting a photo frame. Everyone has a loose picture lying around that could be framed and placed on a mantel!

Get Yourself Organized

If you aren’t already someone who likes to make lists or keep an appointment book, then consider getting that way. If you constantly feel overwhelmed with life and your mental to-do list, it won’t get any better at holiday time. Make a list of the people you will be giving gifts to, add what you plan to give them, and lastly, where you will find the gift. Keep a calendar of upcoming events, and don’t forget to add everyday things like doctor’s appointments, children’s band recitals, and pet appointments. When you write things down, you have a sense of better control over your life and it will allow you to feel less stressed.

Don’t Forget to Take Time to Yourself

In the midst of all of the good will toward men and gift giving, don’t forget the most important person – you! If you don’t take a few minutes out of every day to relax or do something you enjoy, you simply aren’t living your best life. And, keep in mind that a parent, who cares for themself, will be a great example to their children to do the same when they get to be adults.

Set a Budget

It would be nice to win the lottery and spend endless money on extravagant gifts, but that’s simply not how life works. Before starting your holiday shopping (and don’t just consider presents, but also feasts and decorations, too) write down how much extra you have to spend on all of these end-of-the-year activities. Do your best not to burden your credit cards to the point of going into shock, come January, and you’ll be well on your way to controlling undue stress.

The lights are twinkling, snowflakes are drifting lazily onto rooftops, it’s that time of year again. Don’t allow yourself to get tense and stressed to the point where you can’t enjoy any of it, follow these simple strategies to keep the holidays fun. 


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