For many families, the Christmas season is the most wonderful time of the year. But, the high expectations that come along with the holidays can lead to stress, depression or disappointment. Cutting down on holiday stress is the first step to making the holidays enjoyable.
Get Started Early, But Not Too Early
If you are planning to travel during the holidays, getting started early may be a necessity for you. If you have to research and plan hotel accommodations, book flights, and purchase items, it can be overwhelming. Getting started early can go a long way in cutting down on holiday stress.
Many stores put their Christmas decorations out as early as August. Did you know that causes MORE stress for people? The earlier the holiday decorations are put out, the more pressure families are under to make it “the perfect holiday”. You can help reduce Christmas stress by shopping the after holiday sales. Avoiding the early decorating is how I practice cutting down on holiday stress.
Not only will this give you less to worry about when Christmas is just around the corner, but buying holiday supplies off-season can also save you money. If the family Christmas festivities are going to be held at your house this year, start preparing weeks or even months ahead.
Connect with Family
The stress of the holidays is much easier to manage when you’re able to use the time to reconnect with family. Find new, fun ways to get into the holiday spirit together. You might try decorating Christmas stockings together as a family, or singing carols around your community. You could even volunteer together at a local food bank or toy drive and help to spread some Christmas cheer. Seeing others happy works well for cutting down holiday stress.
But what happens if you don’t get along with your family? You can reduce Christmas stress by doing the things that make you feel good. Get a manicure, buy yourself a new outfit, or even take a vacation. Don’t feel like you need to live up to other’s perfect family Christmas. Surround yourself with people who love and care about you just the way you are can be the biggest way to reduce Christmas stress.
Books To Read To Start Cutting Down On Holiday Stress:
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Bring Down Expectations
Over-hype and high expectations make preparing for Christmas festivities much more stressful. If you worry yourself over having the best decorations, the most presents, or the most memorable dinner party, you could end up trying too hard (and going a little crazy). Try to keep your family more focused on family and being together instead of decorations or presents. Easier said than done though, right? And if you are a working parent, this can be especially hard on you.
Cut Down on Spending
Financial issues are one of the leading causes of stress, and Christmas tends to be a very costly time. Try to save money where you can so that you have one less thing to worry about. Think of inexpensive or sentimental gifts that you can give, rather than something costly from the store. The same goes for decorating. Homemade decorations for the house or tree save money, as well as provide an activity the whole family can enjoy.
Ask for Help
It’s very difficult to get everything done on your own during the Christmas season. But, you don’t have to get it all done by yourself. The ideal people to go to for help would be your family. All of the stress-inducing chores that you need to take care of can become fun family activities. Not only will this make things much easier, but your family is sure to cherish Christmas all the more if everyone helped make it happen together.
If you feel anxious when Christmas is a few weeks (or even months) away, you’re not alone. Many people consider the Christmas holidays to be the most stressful time of the year. But, as long as you avoid the over-hype and encourage your family to have realistic expectations, everybody in your family should have a peaceful and merry Christmas.