Thanksgiving is over, guests have gone back home, but the stress has just begun. The thought of Christmas cheer and New Year celebrations border holiday bliss and dreaded stress are all around. This time of year stresses many people stress out and tips on how to manage holiday stress can mean the difference between happy smiles and desperate attempts at isolation.
Think of Halloween to New Year’s Day like an iceberg theory. Imagine being the iceberg with Halloween and Thanksgiving at the top and December through and New Year’s Day the 90% under the water. Stress management is the “global warming” secret to keeping sane and holding it all together!
No more colorful writing, time to get to the point and learn some tips!
- Be realistic. Make preparations and know that nothing is perfect. Things will not go 100% as planned or hoped for and that is OK. Holidays are about making memories, not movies.
- Make lists and check them twice! Don’t wait until the last minute and keep those lists handy. Check accomplished tasks off.
- Recruit help. Get the family involved and delegate. Taking on the task of planner, chef, merry maid, Santa Clause and peacemaker is TOO MUCH for one person. Now is the time to hand out tasks and breathe out.
- Set a budget and stick to it! All too often extra money is spent and a month later many gifts are long forgotten. Buy gifts loved ones will reuse and stick to the budget. There are many other gift giving opportunities throughout the year.
- Start shopping early. It feels so good to get the shopping done as early as possible. Wait too long and there will be missed opportunities on a great deal. Use the internet.
- Take time off of work. This is one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year. Taking time off to focus on that list, spend time with loved ones and even relax can be a big help.
- Get on the same page with family. Make sure everyone knows what the holiday plans are. Who is staying with whom, who is cooking what, what activities are planned and what time it will all happen.
- Help others in need. During this time of year it is easy to reflect on how fortunate many of us are and how much we have to be thankful for. What better way to celebrate blessings than to give back to those who are less fortunate. Sharing really is caring no matter how corny it may sound.
- Make a gratitude list. When the stress starts to feel overwhelming, list all the things to be grateful for.
- Take a break! Everyone needs a break; there is no way people can keep going without some healthy rest.
Remember, holidays are about making memories, continuing traditions and make a few more. Don’t let the rush, money or time break the holiday spirit. Be armed with these tips and enjoy the holidays!
Tara Raj, CPC, ACC, CNWC