"Happy Holidays" is the expression, but in reality, the holidays can quickly turn into a stressful time. It's no wonder so many of us look forward to the new year. But you don't have to spend your holidays filled with anxiety about family, friends, traditions, and impressions. Follow these tips and chill out during your winter celebration.
1. Give What You Can
One of the biggest stress inducers of the holiday season is the expense of gifts. You want your gift to impress, but if your friends and family knew you were going into debt to give them a gift, they would not be impressed. Instead, buy gifts that fit your budget. Be honest and be creative. You can give great gifts without spending a ton of money. Crafts and food items are examples of gifts that are thoughtful but inexpensive. If you aren't feeling like making something, consider a novelty item like holiday socks. If you have to put Christmas on a credit card because your bank account can't handle the cost, you're doing it wrong.
2. Say No
If there are things that you dread about the holidays, see how many of them you can eliminate. A lot of the pressure of the holidays is self-imposed because we want to do it all. It is okay to say no to events and favors. The most important thing to provide is your best self, and if that means declining a couple Christmas shindigs, that's okay.
3. Make a Budget
Putting together a budget for the holidays will keep the holidays from sneaking up on you. Vowing not to spend so much is not as effective as setting real limits and sticking to them. Tracking your spending will ensure you don't spend too much money on things that you don't really need to have a holiday that feels complete.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Indulgence is inexplicably excused during the holidays, and many of us really do need that New Year's diet to get us back into a healthy lifestyle. According to an article in The BMJ, some Americans might eat 6,000 calories on Christmas day! While the urge grows to eat our fill of fudge and peanut brittle during the holidays, it can wreak havoc on our health. Drinking and eating too much bogs down the body and decreases productivity. It can also increase blood pressure and cause weight gain.
5. Use Available Services
Lastly, use the services that are available to make life easier. If you are travelling, mail presents ahead of time. If you need to get groceries, use pickup services. Shop online when possible. All these services will save you time and prevent the stress of dealing with the massive amount of people out and about during the holidays.
Enjoying the holidays in a stress-free fashion is possible, but it takes some purposeful effort. If you run through the holidays frantically trying to get everything done without taking a breath to relieve stress, you're going to end up spending more, eating more, and ultimately, stressing more. Instead, follow these tips for a stress-free holiday.