The holidays always seem to swoop in like a tornado. They sneak up on you & all of a sudden there’s:
- New Year’s
And at times the stress of all the planning, travel, events, & loved ones can take its toll on you.
I’ve been there. For years, it seemed that by the time Christmas came around, I was done. As soon as the presents were opened I just wanted to take my tree down & be done.
I was just over it.
Have you ever felt that way? Well it’s time to stop.
I’ve done the research & I’ve even tested it. Here are 14 of the best techniques to coping & eliminating that holiday stress.
Make An Escape Plan
Whenever you know you have an event to go to you need to make an escape plan. This doesn’t have to be just during the holidays either.
You don’t want to go in with the mindset that things are going to go wrong. But lets be real, life has challenges & you need to be ready.
There are tons of reasons that you might need an escape. You may:
- Have children & need to get them to bed
- Run into someone who can be difficult to deal with
- Just not be in the mood for a long event
Whatever the case is, you need to get a ahead of the game with your problem solving.
Decide Your Behavior
This is a biggie.
Have you ever heard the phrase that “attitude is everything”?
Many times we go into a situation either already ready for a fight or thinking the worst. But putting yourself into that mode reflects on the outside.
Your mentality will show on you like stink on a skunk, leading others away.
So why should you even care? Because, that anxiousness that you have about the situation ruins any chance that you have of a potential good time & increases your anxiety & stress of being there.
Try thinking like this:
- “This actually may be a good time”
- “I wonder if Sally will be there, we have the best time together”
- “Uncle Jim always makes the best pie. It’s all worth it for pie”
The Art Of Conversation
Muhammad Ali said, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
Even though he was referring to boxing, the same quote applies to how you talk. Especially during the holidays.
Conversations should be kept light & fun. Reminisce about the good times or make new memories.
Hints the “float like a butterfly.”
Stray far away from subjects that can be controversial, like:
- Or like in some families…sports
Getting involved in such strong topics can bring out strong, sometimes negative, emotions. From there words can start to “sting like a bee”.
Count & Breathe
This is one of the easiest ways to cope with holiday stress.
You simply count down from 10 while taking slow deep breaths.
I admit, I wasn’t so sure about this one but it works.
Make A Holiday Plan
You would be shocked at how much a good plan can impact your stress levels.
When you have a plan, you don’t have to worry about if your have all of the ingredients to a recipe, who you forgot a gift for, or where you’re supposed to be tomorrow.
Sit down & fill out a holiday planner to keep it organized.
Finding a positive affirmation that works for you is a great way to reduce holiday stress.
When you start to feel the anxiety or stress of it all closing in on you. Stop, count & breathe, & say your positive affirmation. After a few minutes, you will start to feel the difference.
Ask For Help
This can be a toughy for some of us who like to have their hands in all the pots (guilty).
Before the pot starts to boil over, ask for help.
If hosting Thanksgiving this year is starting to be too much, then ask for help. Instead of you cooking the entire meal, turn it into a potluck.
If you need help getting gifts for Christmas then make a list & ask someone to help you.
Asking for help is by no means a sign of weakness. It actually makes you stronger to be able to say “ok, my body or my mind can’t take much more, I need to stop & take a break.”
Asking for help leads me into self care. You can see that phrase everywhere nowadays.
But the difference here isn’t taking yourself to the spa, it’s focusing on what you’re body is telling you to do.
If you start to feel run down then you must sleep.
If you start to get a hunger headache you must eat.
If you start to get forgetful you must stop & regroup.
These are all basic things that we know at our core but when we stress, we get caught up inside of our minds & forget.
Stick To A Budget
Money, money, mooooney.
Is a major cause of stress. Especially during the holiday season.
One minute you have money in your account & then the next time you check it, there’s $0.23. And you have know idea what you even purchased to make that happen.
You can eliminate that stress by creating a budget.
You still down & plan out everything that you need for the holiday season. Then set your budget.
Now is the challenge. You have to stick to that budget. Don’t do any extra spending unless it’s a special circumstance.
If you have trouble maintaining a budget (it’s so easy just to swipe or hit add to cart), then take out the money in cash & then divide it into envelopes.
You would have a cash envelope for travel, gifts, decor, food, etc.
That way when the money runs out then you’re done.
Know Your Limits
Unless there’s something that I don’t know, there’s one 1 you. There are only 24 hours in a day & only 7 days in a week.
You can not fill your days with 20 hours of activities & to-do’s. It just won’t work. You will overly stressed, burned out, & probably super emotional.
Say no to the extra load. Know your limits of what you can & cannot handle.
You may want to go to that party that your coworker is throwing. But you can’t do that when you have to prepare to host your own party the next day.
You can’t take on making 4 dozen cookies for the Christmas play when you have to also direct it.
Just say no. Practice saying no in the mirror if you have to.
Don’t Be Excessive
It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in all things holiday.
From getting pumpkin pie lattes, to house decorating competitions, to matching family outfits. It can out of control really fast.
And what happens?
You start to stress about the outfits being a perfect match or oh no, Mrs. Jones just put up a motion activated Santa that throws presents to everyone who walks by. I need to get one!
Calm down & scale it down.
At one point holidays used to be just about bringing friends & family together for a good time. Bring it back to that.
I will say it again & again. It’s okay. You’re kids are not going to look back on past holidays & ask you why your house wasn’t decorated for Halloween one year.
At the end of the day the holiday season leaves as fast as it comes. It won’t be perfect (life isn’t perfect), so don’t stress all the small challenges that you may face.
Understand that things may need to change suddenly. It’s okay.
Don’t Forget The Fun
A lot of times we focus so much on everything that needs to get done that we forget to have fun ourselves.
Take the time & do some fun activities.
Try something new, start new traditions, bring back old traditions.
Whatever it is, let go of those to-do’s & that stress & enjoy the moment.
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