Let’s face it, the holidays are stressful. Whether you start planning a month ahead for that big family dinner, or procrastinate until the night before, it always ends up being more stress than you had expected. Shopping for gifts, cleaning the house, baking cookies… not to mention trying to do all of this while juggling stresses of everyday life… yeah, it can get a bit overwhelming. The holiday season should be filled with joy and happiness, and if you are like the many others who are having a hard time feeling good about the holidays, these tips are for you! Here are ten tips for staying calm this holiday season.
1. Make your list and check it twice
Source: Huff Post
Do you come up with seemingly hundreds of to-dos during the holiday season? Try making a list of all the things that you need to do within the next month. Let that list sit for about an hour and come back to it. Go through and really decide what needs to be done, and what is excessive. You may be surprised what you can erase off your list as unnecessary. Maybe you don’t need to make all 5 types of specialty cookies you normally bake every year, the family will be happy with just 2. Maybe you need to ask your sister or a friend to pitch in this year and help with the side dishes for the big dinner. You don't really need to cook all 6 sides yourself! Maybe you don’t need to go through and de-clutter every drawer in your house to prepare for holiday company. Let’s be real, nobody is really going to notice a bit of clutter in the living room!
Now that you have that handy list made and erased the unnecessary stress off it, it’s time to prioritize. What needs to be done first? Highlight the things that can be done ahead of time in one color, and the things that are more last minute tasks in a different color. If you do a bit every day the work load will seem a lot less heavy and you won’t be burnt out come the holiday.
3. Suggest a Secret Santa
It’s early enough that your loved ones may not have gotten their shopping done yet. If you have a big family you know it is overwhelming to buy a gift for everyone, and the stress of gift buying takes the joy out of giving the gifts. Try suggesting a secret santa and have everyone pick a name of who they will be buying for this year.
4. Regular Sleep Schedule
With all the extra work your going to be doing to get ready for the holidays, a routine is a must. You probably hear this advice a lot, but there is extreme truth in this one! Regular sleep helps keep your mood stable so if you’re prone to anxiety or any other extreme mood, sleep is going to be your best medicine. Set your alarm for 30 minutes before your sleep time and most important, stick with it every night! When that alarm goes off, head to the bedroom… even if your favorite movie is on. Waking up each morning at the same time is also crucial to this sleep schedule regularity.
Source: Mind Body Green
It cannot be stressed enough how important the sun is for the soul and the body. You may be stuck in the windowless office all day and by the time 5 o'clock comes, the sun is already gone. To gain an overall better mood, take breaks during the day. Spend some of your lunch time outdoors. Take any chance you can get to spend it in the sunlight. Even with those cold temperatures, the sun is still shining bright. Sunlight is a major dose of Vitamin D and a natural cure for depression. The sun's super powers will definitely help you keep calm this holiday season.
6. Pick and Choose
This one is a little harder... especially if you are a people pleaser. Picking and choosing what tasks you take on is a big step in keeping calm during the holidays. If you’re one of those people that says "yes" to everything this tip is for you. Next time somebody you love asks you for a favor this season, take a step back and let them know you’ll get back to them tomorrow. Evaluate later that night if you have the time to do the favor that was asked of you. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you have a lot going on this year and that although you’d love to help, you just can’t right now. People will appreciate your honesty and you’ll be surprised how good that honesty feels for you as well!
7. Don’t Forget About You
It’s easy in a season all about spending time with others to forget about yourself. Take time to sit in a warm bath at night, to go out for lunch without the family, or to go on a day hike and gather your own thoughts with the only noise being the fresh air and some chattery birds. This tip not only comes in handy for the holidays, but really anytime of the year when you are running on overdrive! Every battery needs a recharge at some point.
8. Positive Perspective
Sometimes the stress in our lives can be an indicator that we have so much to be thankful for. It's a hard task, but learning to shift your perspective from stress to thankfulness can be a helpful way to keep calm this holiday season! In every stressful moment you have, think of all the positives about the situation. If you're stressed while working extra hours to save money for holiday gifts, remember your loved ones and how you are selflessly dedicating extra time to showing them you care.
9. Participate in Holiday Traditions, or Create Your Own
Source: My Little Poppies
It's easy to lose your calm if you aren't remembering the fun of the holidays. Take time and decorate sugar cookies with the kids, or go for a family outing to the outdoor holiday market and get all the hot cocoa samples they are offering! Remember, when you take time to laugh, smile, and enjoy yourself, your overall mood is going to mirror these expressions.
10. Ask for Help!
Source: Wgbhn News
Nobody doubts your ability to be the super human you want to be! Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, and if you are going to stay calm during the holiday season that is something you’ll need to remember. Whether or not you end up needing to ask for help, just knowing that it’s an option is important.
Are you ready to take on the stress of the holidays?