As a young child, I remember experiencing the magic of the holiday season. Sure, there were disagreements and stressful situations that I watched my family wade through year after year, though I don’t remember those times as clearly as I do the happy moments. I remember great food, fun, and spending time with loved ones. (I also remember the year I received my first mountain bike and a set of hit stix.)
What if you could get back some of that magic? Check out these 10 ways to take the stress out of the holidays.Rose Skeeters
1. Budget for the Holidays.
Overspending during the holidays not only stresses you out while you’re doing it, but continues into the future when the credit card and bank statements arrive in January. Make a realistic budget early, carefully review it, and then stick to it!
2. Plan Holiday Activities.
Double-booking activities on the same day can result in frustrated family members and lost opportunities. Avoid this stress by planning and discussing with the family beforehand. Also, decide what’s important, prioritize, and say “no” to what you can’t handle.
3. Work in Some Alone Time.
Do not choreograph, plot, and plan out every hour of the holidays. Factor in some alone time for the sake of your mental health. Close your eyes, take several deep breaths, and meditate or just relax.
4. Be Open to Change.
Talk with your kids about your traditions- which ones they love and which you might evolve. This is especially important when family dynamics have changed. Don’t be too rigid. Use common sense and accept changes to the original plan.
To stay sane and reduce stress, delegate holiday tasks to friends and family members. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Delegate first, and then follow-up for extra peace of mind.
6. Prep Your Kids.
Factoring in kids’ limitations when you make plans will reduce stress on everyone. Not overestimating your kids’ patience and ability to focus will help you enjoy yourself more too. Holidays represent a change in a family’s normal schedule, and for some kids, that’s unsettling. Preparing them for these changes will help head off meltdowns.
7. Wrap & Ship Early.
Last-minute gifts can bust your budget and your sanity! Plan your shopping and avoid doing anything impulsively. Wrap everything as soon as it is purchased and ship gifts to loved ones far in advance.
8. Be Sure to Laugh.
Kids pick up their parents’ stress and tension. Have of sense of humor, enjoy your kids for who they are, and keep in mind that what you’ll all remember is likely to be the unexpected moment when everybody was relaxed, not the brilliantly choreographed events.
Take time to volunteer at your church, homeless shelter, or community center with your family and friends. Model being a bucket filler this season.
10. Exercise Regularly.
Everyone does their best to trash their bodies during the holiday season. We eat way too much rich and fatty foods, and often drink too much. The best thing to do about the unavoidable overindulgence is to exercise regularly.
Following these 10 tips will help ease the stress of the holiday season so that you can reclaim the magic of the season this year. Download our FREE Infographic below. Looking for more support this season? Schedule an intake now.