The holiday season is meant to bring about peace and relaxation, all while family and friends have some fun and enjoy precious moments together.
However, the many tasks associated with this festive season can bring about unwanted anxiety, turning us into a jam-packed ball of stress. As with any overwhelming situation, the key here is identifying the underlying cause before being able to address it.
Here are a few ways to make your holiday season less stressful.
Time is Too Short
Buying gifts and decorations, sending out holiday cards, paying visits to relatives, attending school plays, and preparing festive dinners is the name of the game during the busy holiday season. Considering everything that needs to be done, you may want to jot down a to-do list as soon as possible and share tasks among family members.
Some two-month holiday prep work is a good starting point, even if your list doesn’t turn out to be that extensive. In fact, three months is better, even if you’re just taking baby steps at first. This way, you won’t leave anything out of sight and you’ll be able to cross tasks off your list way ahead of others. In other words, you get to enjoy a hot drink, a carol, and a good book while watching panic hit everyone else.
Pro tip: Besides planning ahead and making a stress-proof list to stick to, it’s equally important to take some time for yourself. Exercise, meditation, and yoga are great stress relievers.
The Financial Burden is Too Big
Not only does time seem to shrink around the holidays, but so does your wallet. Of course, everything you need to buy and prepare for represents an extra cost compared to the rest of the year — and it tends to drop on you all at once. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Once again, planning helps, especially from a financial point of view. By having a list in place early on, with all that needs to be done for Christmas and New Year’s, you can also budget accordingly. But be realistic and reasonable about what you can afford to spend, and spread out the expenses across several months.
Pro tip: Start by ordering ahead of time any special gifts, as well as your New Year photo cards with free recipient address printing. These customized ways of showing how much you care should be your top priority. Once you have these covered, the rest will simply flow.
Prepare to Enjoy a Stress-Free Season
Bottom line: Take care of yourself first, so that you can also take care of others. For starters, make sure you get enough sleep and fresh air, try to stick to a balanced diet, and set aside time for things you enjoy. Additionally, make sure to include family traditions in your holiday plan. They are a nice way to unwind and remember why these are special moments for all. And, if you do find yourself in a dark stressful place, try some breathing exercises to get back on track.
Excited about the upcoming holiday season? You should be. It’s all about having fun, staying positive, and embracing everything festive with little to no stress involved. If you plan ahead and act on this and other sage advice, you’ll have more downtime to properly enjoy the holidays and your personal finances will be better prepared to take the hit.
Pro tip: Don’t set unrealistic expectations, and don’t make excessive commitments. Decline obligations and instead opt for activities you know make you happy with the people you love.