The shopping, the cooking, the baking, the caroling, the visiting, the partying, the planning, the wrapping, the shopping, the shopping, the shopping. It’s no wonder the holiday season can be completely overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are a few tips you can use to reduce the stress and maximize the enjoyment of the holiday season.
It’s unrealistic to think you can get everything done in the twinkling of an eye. To avoid the stress that comes from doing things last minute, set aside a few hours each week leading up to the holidays to accomplish your holiday related tasks. Bake your cookies in advance and freeze them, plan a few shopping trips rather than trying to tackle all the shopping at once and spread family visits out over the holiday season so you’re not always traveling at peak times, where traffic is bad and delays are inevitable.
Take a Time Out
Take a break before you become overwhelmed. During the holiday season, it’s important to remember to take time to care for yourself. While it can be tempting to skip the gym or your Sunday church service in the name of a sale, don’t. You need to be sure to pour into yourself and replace what you’re pouring out to others.
Stick to Your Kids Schedules
Taking an overtired, hungry child anywhere is asking for a disaster. With the unpredictable business of the holiday season, keeping what you can consistent will help to prevent maddening meltdowns. Plan your outings and activities around your children sleeping and eating schedules. You will track me down to personally thank me if you do.
Put Family First
While traditions like making great grandmother’s mince pie from scratch has been a highlight of your family’s holiday for years, if doing so is super stressful, take a step back and evaluate if that tradition is still right for your family. Consider the time and energy you’ll save by picking up a pie at the bakery and ask yourself if anyone will even notice or care.
Do What You Can Well
We want to do it all during the holiday season, but doing what you can well is often a better alternative. Keeping things simple and completing the activities you choose to do with all the passion and energy you have can be better than doing everything while exhausted, rundown and miserable.
Don’t let the stress of the holiday season steal your joy and capture your focus. Remember the reason behind the season. That alone is your number one stress buster.