Let’s face it, the holidays are stressful. With all the decorating, cookie exchanges, shopping, holiday cards, wrapping and parties it’s easy to get overwhelmed this time of year. Here are some helpful tips to help keep you from losing your mind and make the holidays a little more enjoyable.
1. Set a budget and stick to it. If you are on a tight budget and have a lot of gifts to buy, get creative and make your own - such as a delicious plate of holiday treats, a homemade card, holiday ornament or other handcrafted item.
2. Do less, and take the time to enjoy yourself more. You can’t possibly be in ten places at the same time, so don’t overpromise your time. Whether it be the cookie exchange, community event or holiday party, don’t be afraid to say no, and accept that you will only make it to one or two events that day. Say yes to the events that are most important to you, and allow yourself some free time each day to relax whether it be meditating, reading, attending a yoga class, enjoying a hot beverage or getting that relaxing pedicure.
3. Go easy on yourself. You’re only one person, so don’t expect to tackle you entire holiday to-do list in a day. Conquer the tasks that are most important to you and if you don’t send holiday cards this year, don’t sweat it. Your family and friends will understand.
4. Don’t eat or drink yourself into oblivion. Don’t get me wrong, I will be indulging in my fair share of holiday treats, but try to limit yourself to one or two cookies instead of polishing off a dozen with a quart of eggnog to wash it down. Not only will you feel guilty afterwards, but it is unhealthy for your body. Try to make healthy meals during the week, to help offset the heavy holiday meals and cocktails you may indulge in on at all those holiday parties on the weekends.
5. Reduce tension. If Aunt Martha won’t stop telling you how you screwed up your last relationship, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. If this makes you uncomfortable, simply remove yourself from the situation and help out in the kitchen, play with the kids or go for a quick walk.
6. Forgive and forget. Holding a grudge can have negative effects on your body and can be bad for your health. So reach out to those family members, neighbors and old friends and let them know you truly forgive them. It is equally important to ask for forgiveness from those loved ones you may have hurt. There is no better time to make amends and you will feel so much better afterwards.