The holidays are near the corner and you have probably start thinking about them. The smell of mulled wine, cookies, cinnamon, and oranges perfectly describes the Christmas spirit. But until you can relax a little bit, you have a lot of things to prepare. You need to think about presents for dear ones. You need to think about what food to cook and season cookies to bake. All these preparations might prevent you from feeling very happy and Christmassy. The invisible cloak of stress will be overwhelming. The holiday season is such a jolly and wonderful time and it would be a pity not to enjoy it. Take care of your mental health by planning how to avoid getting stressed over the holidays.
Make a Budget and Stick to It
Holidays can prove to be stressful if you do not plan your budget. You will end up spending a lot of money on food, presents, and eye-candy but unnecessary things. And because this can be a huge source of stress, a good idea would be to plan your budget and stick to it.
Buy Gifts Early
Buying presents for dear ones can be a huge source of stress, especially if you have no idea what to buy. Start thinking about gift ideas early and plan your shopping session ahead. Like this, you will avoid the holiday crowd.
And if you buy presents for family and you do not get to see them this Christmas, wrap and ship the presents early. You avoid the classic holiday delays and the presents arrive just in time.
Family can be a huge source of stress during the holidays, especially if you do not live in the same city. Of course, you always miss each other. But family members have expectations and want to spend as much time with you as they could. They often push boundaries and you might end up doing something you do not want to.
Set some clear boundaries and communicate them. “Family traditions change over time, as family members might want to spend Christmas with friends. Even though at the beginning they might not understand, over time you will find the new traditions” – says Mariah Storck, content writer at Assignment Man and my perfect words.
The main characteristic of holidays is overindulging. People use to drink and party a lot. Rich food cannot be missed from the Christmas table. At the moment, you feel good. You enjoy talking with friends and dear ones while having a drink.
Find time to exercise at least 15 minutes per day. Stretching your muscles while doing a yoga session is an idea. Or you could go jogging. Keep in mind that you should not try to completely eliminate alcohol or rich food. Instead, you should aim at limiting inactivity and excessive consumption.
Plan Your Holiday Activities
You might want to visit a few friends. Some might want to visit you. Or you just want to have a free day to spend with your loved one and watch some movies. No matter which your plans are, think about them ahead.
Avoid planning a lot of activities for one day, as someone will surely be frustrated in the end. Plan your days ahead and communicate the schedule to your family and friends. You will be less stressed during the holidays.
Do Not Isolate Yourself
Maybe you have a tough period and feel that you do not want to see anybody. While this might be good for you sometimes, doing this during the winter holidays might have more negative effects than positive ones. Isolation and loneliness only worsen the situation, especially during the holidays.
Find a group of friends and meet them. Look for opportunities to volunteer at local fairs. Or, find some community activities. Give yourself the chance to make new friends and enjoy yourself and the holidays.
This year comes to an end and everyone starts reflecting on what happened. Do not be harsh on yourself. Be kind. For sure you have set high expectations, but not fulfilled them entirely. It’s not the end of the world. Everyone has good and bad moments. Moments full of motivation or moments full of despair.
Be grateful for what you have accomplished and set New Year’s resolutions. Be realistic and do not put pressure on you. And if you want to make a change, start setting resolutions from this day.
Take Care of Yourself
Do not forget about yourself during the holidays. Take a hot bath. Read a book. Watch a movie or go for a walk in the park. Find some relaxing activities to do during the holidays, as they will take the stress away. Find activities that create an oasis of happiness and calm.
The great danger is that you might think that you have to do all the tasks. And if you want to keep yourself mentally sane, you should delegate some tasks. Stress appears when you think you do not have enough resources to face a situation.
And during the holidays, when the city is crowded and people are buzzing around, for sure the stress is bigger. Delegate some tasks to family members and give yourself time and space.
Having a plan and sticking to it is good. But if the activities you scheduled involve family members or friends, plans might change. Maybe not everyone is interested in visiting the local Christmas fair. Maybe they want to attend a Christmas concert at the Opera.
Either way, be flexible. You can vote for the preferred activity and decide what you want to do. Being rigid and inflexible can only cause stress, frustration, and anger` – says Linda Justice, the event manager from HR software. The most important thing is that you spend time with your loved ones during the holidays.
Keep in mind that holidays are about happiness and spending time with your dear ones. Give yourself time and space to enjoy yourself and feel the Christmas spirit.
Plan your budget and activities ahead, but stay flexible. Do not take too much responsibility for yourself, but share it with other family members or friends. Exercise and avoid overindulgence.