Stress less and enjoy the holidays more with these 7 Tips For a Stress Free Holiday Season.
The holiday season is a time for enjoying time with your family and friends, not for stressing out. But stress always seems to be inevitable when you’re rushing around everywhere, trying to juggle decorating, shopping for gifts, figuring out travel plans, hosting parties, and just feeding your family. There are ways that you manage the stress of the holiday season, though. By shifting your thoughts and prioritizing yourself, you can enjoy the holiday season more and freak out a little less.
Here are my top tips for a stress free holiday season.
Let go of the idea of perfection.
The sooner you realize that perfect does not exist, the better. Sure, you might be the only one on the block without Christmas lights up (ahem, my house), or your cookies might not turn out just right. But guess what? That’s life. I promise nobody else has everything turn out perfectly either. Nobody cares if your house isn’t spotless or if you forgot to get ice. They just want to spend time with you. If you try not to worry about the imperfections, you’ll stress about them much less. In the words of Elsa, let it goooo….
Embrace saying “no.”
Realize that you can only do so much. As a natural introvert, the more my calendar fills up, the more stressed I get. You have to pick and choose what events are important to you, and which ones you can stand to miss out on if you’re just too tired. Declining politely will suffice, you don’t even have to give a reason. Just say ‘no’ and stick with your decision without feeling bad. People understand that everyone is busy this time of year.
Don’t try to go on a diet.
Just don’t. Trying to diet or lose weight during the holidays is just a bad idea. For one thing, skipping meals or eating too little not only sets you up to go overboard on sweet treats and indulgent foods later on, but it also makes your blood sugar dip, making your tired, cranky and even more stressed. Not to mention the inevitable feelings that you “failed” by not sticking to a diet or losing weight. Instead, try to eat a regular, balanced diet during the holidays and enjoy your favorite holiday treats mindfully and to the fullest extend. Depriving yourself will just end up causing you more stress.
Enlist some help.
Nobody can do everything by themselves. When family or friends offer to help, graciously accept. Ask them to bring a dish to your gathering or to pick up napkins on their way over. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask your spouse to figure out dinner tonight. Can’t get an appetizer ready for the party you’re supposed to go to? Pick up a pre-made one. There is no shame in needing help, during the holidays or anytime.
Do as much as you can, as early as you can.
This one is a big help for me, since I tend to get stressed out if I leave things to do for the last minute. If there is something you can get done earlier rather than later, do it! It’s never too early to wrap gifts or pack to go out of town. Waiting until last minute and staying up all night to get things done will just make you more tired and frazzled.
Carve out time for yourself.
Take a breath and remember to do something for yourself every day. Whether that is taking a bath in the evening, scheduling a yoga class, waking up 5 minutes early to drink your coffee alone, or reading quietly when you would normally fold laundry, do something to take care of yourself so you can unwind and be better able to take care of others.
Remember what the season is about.
When you are tempted to freak out at the jerk who took your parking spot, remember that the holidays aren’t about gifts or lights or the perfect party dress. They’re about celebrating something special with loved ones. So try to relax, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy the people you are with. Try to be in the moment while you are surrounded by people who love and care about you instead of stressing about the trivial things.
Wishing you a joyful, stress free holiday season!