The holidays can be a stressful time. Even though we have all year to prepare, it always seems to become a scrambled process of getting gifts, hosting get-togethers, traveling, and more. Holidays should be relaxing times off from work to relax with family and friends, yet many of us spend our time stressing over them. Get back to the fun of the holiday with these tips.
1. Stick to a Schedule
The best way to have a stress-free holiday is by creating a schedule and sticking to it. To do this, you will need a calendar, some sticky notes, and a pen. On the calendar write down the things that need to be done and when. Then stick to it. If you do things in a timely manner, there is no last-minute stress. Procrastination coupled with a lack of a to-do list is a recipe for disaster.
Writing things down on a calendar will help you remember the big and little things that need to be done, and more importantly, when you need them to be done. The sticky notes are useful in times of spontaneity or change. Things don’t always go according to plan and having a little wiggle room will help things run more smoothly no matter what situations arise. Obviously, in today’s modern age of technology, you don’t always need to use paper, but it may actually help during the holidays. While your google calendar may be fine for most times of the year, if you’re living in a busy house then the sticky notes on a paper calendar hung in a prominent location during the holidays may help everyone to see what’s expected on any given day.
In your schedule, it is important to carve out time for yourself. Whether it’s one hour every morning, or one day of the week, your schedule should include allotted time to care for yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you are stressed and unable to wind down, things will not go well. The best way to navigate the holiday season is by ensuring you are equipped to do so. Once you have carved out time for yourself, you must make it a priority to commit to self-care at that time, otherwise you may forget, and it will simply not happen.
2. Do Not Over Commit
Having a schedule and a list of things to do is beneficial for many reasons. Once you know what is required of you, you can prevent biting off more than you chew by referring back to your list. When other tasks and possible responsibilities are thrown your way, you should first assess if it is possible for you to commit without lacking in other obligations. Everyone has a finite amount of energy in the day. If you find yourself doing too much, you may run out of energy before all the tasks are complete. Before you commit to something, consider all the necessary things you must complete for this season. If it’s not feasible given all the other obligations you have, do not be afraid to say no. Knowing when to say no and conserve your energy will help decrease stress and increase productivity.
You don’t have to do it all yourself. If you have family or friends who can help you complete your task, you should lean on them for support. For example, if you need to travel, perhaps you can have a family member book the trip. If you have to host a dinner, perhaps, you can have a friend send the invites. Allowing others to complete small tasks for you will relieve some of the pressure that the holiday season creates.
Delegation of tasks can go beyond your friends and family. There are plenty of goods and services that can be purchased in exchange for time and hard work. For example, you can replace some home-cooked meals with store-bought and chef-prepared ones. You can also hire individuals to decorate, set up travel, and do other things as well. Time equals money, so don’t be afraid to substitute the one for the other. Know how much your time is worth and purchase goods and services accordingly.
Part of holiday season stress is finding the funds to have a good time. Holidays don’t have to break the bank. In order to save money or not go over budget, create a realistic budget and stick to it. The best way to do this is by writing it down. Writing a budget and tracking your spending will prevent overspending and unnecessary purchases. Only purchase the things you have the budget for and nothing else. This will help you keep your finances in check and your stress low.
5. Scale it Down
Not every holiday has to be a grand event. If you find yourself stressed this holiday season, it could be due to an over-expenditure of time or finances. Scale down your holiday to make it more enjoyable and affordable. A great way to scale down a holiday is to do less. If you are hosting a dinner, perhaps you can have all the guests bring a dish. Instead of purchasing expensive gifts, perhaps you can buy cost-effective items you know an individual will need. This way you participate in the festivities without stressing over the little things.
Holidays can be beautiful. It’s a wonderful time of year to show love and affection by spending time with those who mean the most to us. The holiday season doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) a stressful time. Follow these 5 tips on how to get through this holiday season and watch your worries melt away.