Managing Holiday Stress for More Joy
Your weekends are packed with parties; your in-laws are coming for Christmas
this year; your holiday mantel isn’t even close to Pinterest perfect;
and your shopping list is still a mile long—pressure during the
holiday season can be intense. Even if you love every minute of the holidays,
it’s important to be proactive about managing stress so you don’t
end up gloomy and tired by Christmas morning. So how do you balance all
of the busyness?
Set realistic expectations. Most holiday stress comes from trying to accomplish too much in too little
time. What is most important to you this holiday? Spending time with family?
Crafting meaningful, handmade gifts? Serving others? Whatever it is, make
it your priority and fill in fun activities and commitments around that.
Set yourself up for success. Simplify where you can (you don’t have to make everything from scratch!),
give yourself plenty of time when scheduling events or traveling and tackle
Christmas tasks early instead of waiting until the last minute. This way,
you can enjoy the season without rushing through it.
Set a spending limit. No gift or splurge is worth the stress of going into debt for it. Give
yourself a budget—and remember that thoughtful and personal wins
over stressful and extravagant every time.
Set aside time for yourself. Carve out a few moments each day to recharge and enjoy the season for
yourself. Read a book by the fire, go for a long walk, eat a healthy meal.
You can’t give to others—and you certainly won’t have
energy for baking marathons or late night gift-wrapping—if you don’t
take care of yourself first.
Set time to talk about your feelings. The holidays can be tough, especially if you are grieving or facing holiday
depression or anxiety. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself
is to get a little help. Talking to a therapist or your doctor about the
holiday blues can equip you with the tools you need to make the most of
Set the mood. With temperatures dropping, the holidays are the perfect time to stay
in and relax. String some lights, build a cozy fire and turn on some classic
Christmas tunes—it’s the perfect way to make memories and
make your home feel extra special. Plus, research shows that music can
work wonders for reducing stress and anxiety!
With a little determination and planning ahead, you can sail through this
holiday season with less stress and more joy.