Holiday Stress Busters

Halloween is officially behind us and we are heading straight into the most wonderful time of the year—the holiday season! 

Although this time of year is full of beautiful decorations, delicious meals, sweet treats, and festive celebrations, it’s no secret that it can also be stressful. After all, there are also meals to be cooked, houses to be cleaned, traveling to be planned, and shopping to be done. 

But the question is, how can you help yourself manage this stress so you can make sure your holiday celebrations are merry and bright? Here are four simple tips you can try. 

  1. Be Perfectly Imperfect
    While it may be easy to dream of the ‘perfect holiday celebration’ with a beautifully clean and decorated house, a perfectly prepared meal, and family and friends who are all joyful, getting along, and on their best behavior, the truth is that nothing is perfect. Keep yourself grounded this holiday season by setting realistic expectations for yourself. Know that there may be some plans that go sideways, a part of the meal that gets burned, and family members who show up late or forget their manners. The more prepared you are for having a perfectly imperfect holiday season, the better you will be able to roll with the punches and enjoy your celebrations whether they go as planned or not.
  2. Embrace the White Space on Your Calendar
    On a similar note, don’t fill all the empty space on your calendar with holiday plans. As we quickly approach the holidays, keep track of all your events and responsibilities carefully, and make sure you keep some white space on your calendar so you have time to slow down, think, and breathe. Remember, you don’t have to be the one who does everything. It’s okay to say no or delegate a few tasks every once in a while so that you can take a little time for yourself.
  3. Vocalize Your Boundaries
    No matter who you are celebrating with this year, it’s important to know your own limits and set firm boundaries to keep you from exceeding those limits. If you want to avoid stretching yourself too thin, maybe set a boundary around how much of the cooking and cleaning you will be doing. If there are certain conversation topics you want to avoid, set a boundary around what topics can be discussed at the dinner table. Whatever your boundaries are, the key is not to keep them to yourself. Share them with those you will be celebrating with so they know what to expect.
  4. Prioritize You
    Your body and mind are much more prepared to handle holiday stress if you are taking care of yourself,  both mentally and physically. With that in mind, do your best to stick to the healthy habits you’ve established for yourself. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie or a holiday cookie. Instead, allow yourself to enjoy those holiday treats without straying too far from your normal healthy routines.

No matter what your holiday celebrations are going to look like this year, taking steps now to help yourself manage your stress levels will help ensure that you will be able to fully enjoy all that this wonderful season has to offer.