Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are upon us! Is it just me, or does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with this time of year? It seems like we blaze through each event focusing only on the next event to come. We waste Thanksgiving thinking about Black Friday and cyber Monday. Then we get caught up in setting New Year’s goals in the midst of Christmas celebration. The stress of trying to keep up with everything that’s usually on our plate as well as forcing these events to be “perfect” is ridiculous. Here are a few tips to help manage some of the stress that comes along with the season.
1️⃣ Buy one gift for everyone. A major stress point for people is shopping. It seems like the older people get, the harder they are to shop for. Instead of trying to get the “perfect gift” for everyone, get something unique and practical that will make life easier for anyone. Find a single killer gift and give it to as many people on your list for whom it makes sense. If there are a few others who it doesn’t work for then spend mental energy on them.
2️⃣ Say no. Between you, your spouse, and your kids, there will be more parties and events than is reasonable for you to attend. Pick and choose where your time goes. Don’t say yes out of obligation. Have each person give input on what is most important to them to participate in and then playing your schedule from there.
3️⃣ Pare back. Keep traditions that mean a lot and let the rest go. You don’t have to try to squeeze everything in. You could even try a year where you skip all the typical traditions and see which ones are actually missed. Then bring those back the following year.
4️⃣ Keep up your healthy habits. I get it. This is a busy time of year. It is not, however, a time where you can afford to let healthy habits slip to the wayside. If anything, we need to keep them on board even more to help us manage the stress. Prioritize your sleep, find a way to move your body even if it’s just a few minutes a day, stay on track with healthy foods unless it is absolutely worth it to splurge, and don’t skimp on your R&R activities.
5️⃣ Keep your focus on priorities. Remember that the Holiday season is all about quality time with those that we love most, celebrating the birth of our Savior, and the opportunity for strategic planning with goals and priorities in the New Year. Make the most of the beauty found within the Holiday season and allow it to build into your priorities, rather than distract you from them. You won’t always have your family members with you. We need to be intentional with the things we plan to devote our time to in the following year. Celebrating our Savior needs to be a part of every day of our life, not just an afterthought.
1/ What’s your best tip for managing holiday stress?
2/ Which of these tips sounds most helpful?