As I get older, I feel a little bit more stressed every time the holidays come around. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the holidays and consider them to be my favorite time of year. However, with added financial, family, and work pressure, things can seem more stressful than festive. Being worried about what to get your boyfriend’s family while also freaking out about how much you have to do at work and how you’ll have time to do the million other things on your to-do list is no way to spend the season. To avoid spending any of my precious holiday time stressing, I’ve found a few tactics that really help!
1. Make a list of things you want to do.
Sometimes I get stressed simply by the sheer number of things I want to do! Ice skating, visiting Christmas lights, making 10 batches of cookies, seeing holiday shows…it really helps to make a list of the things you want to do. Prioritize the list by things that you absolutely have to do and go from there. You’ll feel much less overwhelmed! Also, don’t feel bad if you don’t get to everything on your list and just be happy about the fun things you did get to do!
2. Get your shopping done early.
I know, easier said than done. But the earlier you get your shopping done, the more time you can spend actually doing the things on your list! I order most things online and then just head to the mall to pick out little things and stocking stuffers, which makes my shopping experience more fun and less frantic.
3. Don’t overbook yourself.
With only three weekends before Christmas, it’s so easy to overbook yourself with parties and events. Really try to pick and choose the events you actually want to go to. If you spread yourself too thin, parties will start feeling like an obligation, and where’s the fun in that!? Also, be sure to save a few holiday nights at home to just relax.
4. Savor time spent with friends and family.
Occasionally amidst planning and shopping for friends and family, you lose sight of one of the most important aspects of the holiday season- actually spending time with friends and family. I’ve learned that dividing up family time can be a bit of a challenge, but the most important thing is to really savor and appreciate the time that you do get with your loved ones.
5. Focus on one activity at a time.
Some days (like today, actually) I find myself running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get a million things done. Running to the post office, writing holiday cards, wrapping presents, finishing decorating…the list goes on. The best trick I’ve learned is to focus on one thing at a time. If you’re writing your holiday cards, sit down and write them all. Not only will you feel better about getting something done, you can savor the activity and actually enjoy it!
What do you do to beat stress this time of year?