The holiday season is supposed to be an idyllic period during the year when friends and family come together to share joy and spread goodwill. For many people, however, the holidays bring stress and financial worry and even anger. Instead of visions of sugar plum fairies, heads are filled with long lines, bad weather, credit card bills, and drama.
To reduce holiday stress, I try to do the following:
- Think about gift giving all year long. I carry a small notebook with me and I jot down gift ideas next to the names of friends and family members throughout the year. Then, if someone doesn’t have a wish list at the holidays, I don’t have to scramble to think of something. It also comes in handy for birthdays and other celebratory events.
- Buy online as much as possible. There aren’t any crowds, the websites wrap and ship to the gift receivers, and I usually get a better price.
- Breathe. Taking notice that you’re overwhelmed by the season can often be all you need to get back to your usual self.
- Create a plan of action. Make a list of all of the things you need to do and then grab a calendar and schedule when you’re going to do them. If you find that you don’t have enough time to do everything, then get rid of the non-essential items. You don’t need to be a super hero to have a nice holiday. Once you create your schedule, you’ll find that you’re calmer because you no longer have a list of to-do items swimming around in your head.
- Check out the DumbLittleMan blog for a list of 100 Ways To A Stress Free Christmas. Don’t try to complete them all, however, or you’ll likely end up even more stressed!
What do you do to relieve stress at the holidays? Share your strategies in the comments.