Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it’s time to focus on the biggest holiday of the year…Christmas.
Just knowing that we are officially in the Christmas season brings on feelings of stress. We’re cooking and baking and partying and shopping and wrapping and traveling all within a month’s time. Of course, we’re stressed!
Well, here are a few tips we can all use to dial down the stress this holiday season.
- If you plan on doing a lot of cooking and baking this season, take some time to create a shopping list of all the items you’ll need. Check your pantry and cabinets first to make sure you don’t purchase duplicates. Purchasing everything at once will help eliminate multiple trips to the store and dealing with massive crowds.
- While we’re making lists, create one for all of the gifts you plan to give this year. Try to include everyone-relatives, teachers, bus drivers, gift exchanges, newspaper and mail carriers. Assign an amount to each gift and that will give you your shopping budget. I use the app Christmas Gift List (free for Android) to keep track of the gifts I have purchased and still need to purchase. There is also a free similar app on iTunes called Gift List.
- Speaking of shopping…if you’d like to avoid the crowds, try shopping later in the evening or early in the morning. The crowds will be much lighter during those times.
- During the holiday season, be very picky about the activities you participate in. Saying yes to everything that comes along will surely overwhelm you. Decide in advance which activities you will attend and devote the “empty” days/evenings to family activities (baking, watching holiday movies, wrapping gifts, etc) When invitations come in on those days, you can say you have plans and not feel guilty.
- Play holiday music as much as you can stand it. Listening to holiday music is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Pandora is constantly playing in our home.
- Take some time to do something just for you. Take some time off of work, have someone watch the kids and do something that makes you calm and happy.
- Last but not least…Relax and enjoy your holiday with family and friends.