The holiday season brings about joy, togetherness, and – stress, lots of stress. Whether you’ve become a parent or it’s simply become apparent with age, it’s easy to see now why grownups never quite seemed to enjoy the holidays like kids do. Don’t let your inner child down this year or give her reason to have a complete, total meltdown tantrum in the toy store because of stress. Read on for 8 ways to help you avoid holiday stress:
- Know thy Limits: It’s ok that you’re not Martha Stewart, yet for some reason you decided this year that you would make 100 tiny handmade ornaments, provide food for the masses, learn to knit, and remodel your bathroom 3 weeks before the holiday? Get a realistic grip on what you have the time, money, and energy to do this year and stop there. It doesn’t make sense to stress yourself out for reasons that only you created because nobody else will care (we promise).
- Divide and Conquer: Divide holiday prep duties amongst your partner, or frankly anyone else you can. Can grandma be at the shopping center when they open to get that last big-ticket item someone on your shopping list wants? Let her go. Is your neighbor willing to help you shovel snow if you pick up their dry cleaning? Done and done. See what errands, shopping, or chores you can divide amongst yourself, family, and friends to help save everyone a trip and a whole lot of stress.
- Keep your Routine: While it may sound obvious, it’s easy during times of stress to forgo the actual parts of your daily routine that relieve stress. Don’t let exercise, sleep, or eating well slip; make it a continual priority otherwise it will only exacerbate the stress.
- Make like a Duck: Let things roll off your back and basically let-it-go. We put so much pressure on ourselves which is a huge source of unnecessary stress in addition to allowing others to dampen our festive mood. So what if the stuffing was dry, you forgot to pack the shoes that go with those pants, or Aunt Martha makes snide remarks about your new plant-based holiday menu. Remember: You do have a choice about what you let affect you.
- Prioritize: Make a list of to-do items in order of most important to least important. You will find that a few things that are stressing you out might actually not be that important.
- Make Time for What Matters: Make sure you set time for the things that are most important to you during the holidays. If it’s snuggling up by the fire watching an old nostalgic movie or a cup of hot (organic) cocoa with your best friend, make it a priority to do the things that bring you joy during the holidays in lieu of the things that don’t.
- Phone a Friend: Although everyone may seem to be jovial, the holiday season isn’t always joyful for everyone. For many, the holidays can bring about sorrow along with stress so reach out for someone to talk to if you are feeling blue or overwhelmed.
- Remember the reason for the season: It’s easy to get caught up in the shopping and cooking but remember what this season is really about: Spending time with those you care about the most and being thankful for your blessings; not about the presents, decorations, or food. Focusing on what matters most puts things in perspective and helps those stressors fade away.