The Holidays are Stressing Me Out!

Santa Hat and Red GiftCommon themes during this time of year include Christmas trees, Santa Claus, shopping for gifts, preparing for church programs, setting up the Nativity, hanging colorful lights, decorating, baking holiday goodies, family gatherings, company parties… or to sum it all up in one word, STRESS!

Unfortunately, what should be an enjoyable, joyful time of year often turns into a nightmare when we try to cram months’ worth of activities into just a few short weeks. It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to do it all, but it too often leads to us feeling unfulfilled and disappointed during the holiday season.

Here’s a few “dos” and “don’ts” that you’ll want to follow for the holiday season to alleviate your stress and rediscover the true joy and wonder that holidays can bring.

  • Don’t try to plan too much with too little time. Even though the holidays are a special time, there are still only 24 hours in each day. Prioritize activities and do those that have the most meaning for you and your family.
  • Do plan several weeks ahead of time to accomplish small activities one day at a time. Break up big activities into smaller steps.
  • Don’t have unrealistic expectations. Most of the things that go wrong are small things that won’t matter tomorrow. Relax and move on.
  • Do laugh and shrug your shoulders when things don’t go perfectly. Sometimes these slip ups make for the best holiday memories that families will share years down the road!
  • Don’t plunge further into debt just to give more stuff. Giving a meaningless gift just for the sake of checking a name off your list doesn’t celebrate the true meaning of the holidays.
  • Do plan a holiday gift-buying budget and stick to it. Consider giving gift cards or other consumable items that will be put to good use and create opportunities for spending time together.
  • Don’t stick to traditions if no one enjoys them anymore. It’s okay to purchase a pie if you don’t have the time (or the skill) to bake your great grandmother’s recipe.
  • Do create new traditions that fit your family lifestyle and are fun for all ages.

Strategies like these can help you cope with the stress that this season might produce. When you know ahead of time how to handle these hectic times, you can successfully bring more order and peace to your holidays!

Image: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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