How reduce holiday stress
Let’s face it, most of love the idea of the holiday season, but for a lot of us in causes us stress. In fact, today I was talking to a colleague it was saying how he did not really enjoy the holidays as too much time was spent with family! I’ll talk about this later in this post!
When the holidays get closer there is so much to do, from work, to buying presents, to preparing festive menus it seems that there is no end of arrangements to make. Everyone is trying to do things and this can lead to people getting short tempered….
However, the good news is that if you take my advice below you can actually reduce the stress and enjoy the holidays.
I’ve outlined my top strategies for having a happier holiday with less stress!
- Understand that everything doesn’t need to be perfect. I honestly believe that Hollywood and the TV in general is responsible for us believing that everything will be perfect for the holidays. You know the scene, it’s snowing outside, the camera pans along the road and stops outside a house, slowly the image zooms into the perfect family, having the perfect dinner, with a blazing fire roaring away. After dinner they play party games and have a rather perfect evening!
Well sometimes that reality is not always the case! There’s small “discussions” re who forgot to do X and why Y is not ready…..
It’s essential to understand that the reality is a far cry from the Hollywood version. Accept that you are your family are normal, and there’s always someone who will complain or stress you out! Go in without expectations and then enjoy the moment.
No one is going to notice if the gravy is not perfect or the mince pies are not from the local deli, and if they do, well then they are missing the whole point of the holidays!
- The earlier you prepare the better. This goes from present shopping (don’t leave it till the 24th) to food shopping and making dinner. Give yourself enough (or even more than enough) time to get everything done. If you only start to plan 1 day before Christmas well then it’s logical you will get stressed.
- Have realistic holiday plans. Remember point one about the perfect holiday? Well maybe you remember it differently. Maybe you’re remembering a movie, or maybe you are expecting too much! Be realistic, you can’t visit all your friends in one day. See who you have to visit and then allocate time to them so that you can keep everyone happy – and hey if you can’t get to everyone that’s ok too!
- What do you want from the holidays? I believe you need to know what you want from the holidays. If you’re not into the whole commercial element – then don’t go shopping. If it’s more religious for you don’t complain that others are seeing the religion – you can decide to attend more church services. The point is you need to know what you want and get what you want out of the holiday.
You don’t want to have a lavish dinner – that’s ok too decide to have a simple and traditional dinner – or try something new and different!
- Know how much is enough time. If you know that you can’t tolerate your family for more than a few hours, make your excuses and go. Look if you are going to get stressed by your family or even friends, it’s better to leave on friendly terms rather than end up fighting (which can happen!)
This holiday season make a decision to enjoy it on your terms and not get stressed where there is no need! Don’t imagine the picture perfect holiday “as seen on TV” Instead imagine it on your terms and live it on your terms!
Happy Christmas all!