Brilliant Ways to Prevent Holiday Stress
The holiday season comes around the same time every year. And yet, we still get overwhelmed by all of it. Here are some helpful tips to prevent holiday stress.
The holidays are always talked about as if they are a joyful time. And to be honest, they are, or, at least they can be. They can also be a stressful time. There’s the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating and baking that can be overwhelming if you don’t have a good handle on them.
With Christmas being four weeks away (yes, I know, already) it’s not too late to get out in front of the holiday stress and take steps to prevent it this year.
Prevent Holiday Stress Using These Tips
Know your Budget
The stress of paying for the holidays can be eliminated by knowing exactly how much you have to spend. When considering your budget, be sure to include stocking stuffers, holiday cards, and postage. Also, be sure to adjust your monthly food budget to include the added expense of baking supplies to make holiday cookies.
There is no need to go into debt in order to celebrate the holidays. It is possible to have a memorable Christmas while staying on budget. I know that among our group of friends, nobody expects holiday gifts. We plan a dinner and game night when we can all get together and spend time together. Those nights spent with our friends cost less and mean more than any gifts we could exchange with them.
Make a List, Check it Twice
Once you have decided on a budget for the holidays, then you can make a list of who you are going to buy gifts for this year. Knowing exactly how much you can spend on each person makes shopping for them a little easier. There is no point in looking at a new game system if you only have $30 to spend.
My daughters are in their late teens early twenties, and they both pink puffy heart love makeup. So for Christmas, I sign them up for an Ipsy subscription. At $10 a month, billed to me every month, I get them a gift I know they will love and use throughout the year without spending a great deal out-of-pocket up front. Subscription boxes are only a great gift idea if you can afford to make the payments every month throughout the year.
Less is More
How often do we pressure ourselves to decorate our entire house like we see in those gorgeous magazine spreads? First of all, all of those decorations cost money. Maybe none of it is expensive on its own, but when you are looking at the entire house, it adds up, quickly. You don’t have to decorate every square inch of your home. I promise you, I do not have a holiday tree in any room but my living room. I do minimal decorating upstairs even. When we have friends or family over, they are only ever on the main floor of my home, so that is really all I need to decorate.
Keep your Expectations Realistic
I have already seen pictures of decorated homes and Christmas trees on social media. And let me tell you, some of those trees are gorgeous and OMG I want a tree just like theirs. Filled out with lights and ornaments and ribbons. Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog has her home already beautifully decorated. (she has the kind of tree I love! Check out her gorgeous Instagram.) My tree has never looked like one of those. I have learned to be okay with that and enjoy my much more simply decorated tree.
Expectations don’t just mean the decorations. It seems when the holidays roll around some of us want the picture perfect home, along with the Norman Rockwellesque family. We somehow expect our husbands to get shiny new manners, and our children to become perfectly behaved angels. Let your family be the same people they have been the other eleven months of the year. After all, you’re still the same person, yes?
Take Time for Yourself
The holiday stress level can easily escalate, especially when you are tired, or overwhelmed. The world will not come to a crashing halt if you don’t get that eighth batch of Christmas cookies made. Nobody will notice if you don’t get every single holiday decoration put out. I can promise you though, they absolutely will notice if you are cranky because you are tired and overwhelmed.
Give yourself permission to take 15 or 20 minutes for yourself. Go for a walk, or get a massage. Take a step back from the holiday hustle and bustle. Put yourself in Time Out with a book and a glass of wine. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of everyone else. Christmas will some come even if you don’t get everything done, so make sure you get the gifts bought and wrapped, and the rest doesn’t matter.
Taking these simple steps to prevent holiday stress and anxiety will make your holidays much more enjoyable this season.
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