Holidays are usually fun but can be frantic too! Shopping lists, cooking, holiday guests, and planning for celebrations can add up to stress for most people at Christmas-time. Help prevent holiday stress with the following tips:
Plan ahead: You know how it goes with procrastination – last minute scrambling through shopping malls and madly wrapping gifts. Plan your shopping list a month ahead and schedule time to shop early. Prepare any meals or holiday treats a few weeks before the holidays.
Make time to relax: Take time for activities you enjoy and find relaxing. For example, enjoy reading in front of a fire, or go skating with a friend. Don't compromise a relaxing winter evening for another night in the shopping mall.
Put expectations in check: If you're hoping for perfection (from yourself or your holiday experience), you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Be realistic in your holiday preparations and the holiday experience itself.
Look for help: Try not to take it all on yourself. Connect with your spouse, family, and friends and share the responsibilities for holiday shopping, preparing, and cooking.
Set limits: Commit yourself to a certain amount of gifts bought and money spent. Say “no” to extra holiday work and be honest with yourself about the amount of energy and time you can devote to holiday events and guests. If your social calendar is over-booked, say “no” to an extra pre-holiday party.
Eat, drink... but be healthy: Holidays are usually full of all your favorite things – including sweets, treats, and cocktails. Don't deny yourself, but practice moderation while enjoying parties and holiday meals.
Don't forget the fun! Remember the reason for all your holiday planning: a season for celebration and time spent enjoying your family and friends. Take the time and effort to remember what this holiday season means to you, and enjoy it!
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