The holiday season is coming up and as much as we look forward to all the fun, you might at the same time feel some stress building up in your body and mind.
How can you have fun yourself, keep your calm and still deliver on all holiday demands? It’s not easy, but we’re going to give you some tips and hopefully some new insights that will help you cope with the holiday stress!
How to manage holiday stress
There are so many things to plan, prepare and do before all the holidays are over. Maybe there are high expectations from your friends, family and even yourself when it comes to gift-giving, decorations, food and entertainment. A good thing when it comes to holiday stress is that it’s predictable. You know when it starts and you can be prepared and have a plan.
Begin by looking back on previous years. When do you usually start to feel stressed? Is there a particular activity you know makes you anxious?
Also, take some time to think about if the responsibilities are evenly distributed among you and your family and friends. Are you the one who always buys gifts for everyone in the family? Delegate some things to your partner and let him or her take on some more responsibilities this year. Yes, that definitely includes you letting go of some control and that can be really hard and scary! But take it one step at a time and try to accept the fact that even if the person taking over the responsibility from you might do the task in a different way than you would, it doesn’t have to mean it won't turn out just as great!
Holiday stress tips
To make it easier to manage your holiday stress we’ve created a short checklist for you to use when the holidays are getting nearer. You don’t have to try every single tip, just start with something and give one or two a go this holiday season.
1. Plan your spending
If spending a lot of money and feeling like you’re not sure you can afford everything you want is stressing you out, start by creating a holiday budget. Decide how much you can spend on gifts this year, buy any tickets for holiday travelling as soon as possible and write down all other things that you know you have to spend money on this season. Having a budget and sticking to it will help you feel in control and lower your stress levels.
2. Start a mindfulness practice
It can be as easy as just taking a deep breath, noticing how you’re feeling in the moment and then trying to be a little more present when you continue to do what you were doing. Mindfulness is a great tool to use to make sure you’re present and actually experiencing what’s happening right now. Even if you’re stressed out about what you have to do later today, try to be in the here and now when you’re for example driving your children to school, cooking dinner or walking your dog. Focusing on what you’re doing in this exact moment will prevent your thoughts from spinning in your head and calm down a stressed-out mind.
3. Say no
Your time is precious. If you have too many obligations and things to do, you won’t be able to do any of them with as good a result as if you could really focus on just a few tasks at a time. It can be really hard if you’re afraid of letting people down, but what about letting yourself down? Make sure to have strong boundaries and know how much time you actually have to spend if you still want to have time to take care of yourself.
4. Talk to someone
Feeling ashamed when you don’t manage to do everything that is expected of you (even if it’s you who put those expectations on yourself)? Is that preventing you from talking to someone about how you feel and letting them know you’re actually not a perfect person? Well, it’s time to really accept that no one is perfect!
The holidays are super stressful for most people, talking to someone will most likely lead to them telling you they feel the same way. Talking about it with someone going through the same thing can make you feel less alone! Maybe you can even laugh a bit about the whole situation? Another aspect of talking to someone, especially your close family, is that maybe they didn’t realize how much you were doing and will happily take over some of your tasks!
5. Plan ahead
Write a big holiday to-do list, sit down with your planner and write down exactly what you need to do and when. Once you have everything written down in front of you it might not seem as daunting anymore. Trying to keep everything in your head can really add to your stress!
You’re supposed to have fun! Enjoy your time off and try to appreciate the little things. It won’t make a huge difference if you spend one hour more on cleaning, cooking or getting the perfect gift. But if you’re relaxed, feeling happy and are present in the moment, then your family and guests will notice and they will feel calm and happy as well!
So, from us to you - we wish you happy and stressfree holidays!