It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for many of us, the holiday season can be a relentless panic-fest. Between the budget-busting present wish lists that your kids come up with and the turkey you’re not quite sure how to cook properly, there are plenty of different ways to get stressed out during the holidays. Fortunately, there are some anxiety-reducing techniques you can use to take the edge off this festive season. Try them this year for a truly relaxing holiday.
- Decorate in advance. Starting the decorating nice and early will give you the chance to get into that cheery Christmas spirit. Skip over the cardboard box filled with semi-broken old baubles this year and order some personalized christmas ornaments The whole family will love their special décor and the tree will look uniquely yours rather than bland.
- Take the pressure off. Allowing the holiday season to build up in your mind can put you under immense pressure. If you tend to focus on creating the ‘perfect’ day for your family, try to relax and let go of this impossible ambition. While it’s natural to want to have a great day, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture. The idea is to have a wonderful day with your family, not to buy the most expensive presents or cook the perfect meal, so don’t allow that internalized pressure to stress you out.
- Set a clear budget. The holiday season can be stressful for financial reasons, but creating a set budget for the day will make things easier to manage. Divide your budget into food, décor, and presents, and set a realistic maximum spending limit for each category. If you find that your spending is heading toward the budget limit, it may be time to simplify things and make some cuts.
- Have a strategy for difficult family members. While spending time with family is usually a positive experience, many of us have that one person who can show up on Christmas day and spoil the whole atmosphere. Try to develop a plan to combat the negative feelings that this person tends to cause. A calming mantra, distraction techniques, or a strategically adjusted seating plan could go a long way to bringing down your stress levels on the day.
- Delegate the work. The burden of creating a festive day shouldn’t fall entirely onto your lap. Delegate the work amongst your family so that everyone does their part. If the kids love to get crafty, let them take charge of the tree decorations. If your sister loves to cook, let her take over in the kitchen. Spread the workload, and everyone will benefit.
Ask for a wrapping service. Many shops will wrap up your gifts for you before you even walk out of the store, so make use of this service whenever possible. It’ll save you plenty of wrapping time later, and they’re bound to do a neater job anyway. If you do enjoy doing the gift wrapping in the days leading up to Christmas, make sure you buy all of your supplies in advance so you’re not left panicking at a sold-out supply shop on Christmas Eve.