Allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by to-do lists is a bad idea. Here are some tips for managing holiday stress, so you can have fun this year, without the stress that has you worrying through the night! The secret to enjoying the holidays is to reduce holiday stress, so what are you waiting for?

Prioritize & Plan

When you have a few moments, make a list of holiday activities that you would want to do. Cross off the ideas that would be the most stressful in terms of expense, time, and energy from your list.

Choose activities that you enjoy and can complete with little to no stress. Set a budget and prioritize the events that are most important to you and your family.

Make Your Values Known

Consider how you spent the holidays. Spending more money on your loved ones or spending more time with them, which is more important to you? Do you believe that “love equals money” is true? Are you a perfectionist with a competitive spirit? Do you take the time to appreciate the genuine meaning of the season and the joy it brings? What other methods could you express your affection? Do you enjoy shopping or do you find it a chore every year? Is gift-giving truly meaningful, or do you wind up with a lot of clutter and unnecessary gifts? What, if anything, about your holiday celebrations would you wish to change? Answering these and other questions might help you clarify your holiday ideals, resulting in a more relaxing and meaningful holiday season.

Simplify

Here are some suggestions for making your Christmas struggles easier:

• Avoid traffic congestion, congested shopping malls and parking lots, and long queues by buying online.

• Plan to complete all of your holiday present buying well ahead of time.

• Start wrapping your gifts early.

• Reduce the amount of baking you do. Do not attempt to bake ten different kinds of cookies. Make your treats ahead of time and freeze them, so you have less to do when things become hectic. Organize a cookie exchange with your family and friends if you’re seeking dessert variation.

• Rather than making many trips, complete several errands in one trip.

• Instead of buying gifts for each of your family and friends, consider drawing names.

• Keep the number of social gatherings you host or attend to a minimum.

• Assign responsibilities to family members. Don’t feel obligated to take responsibility for everything.

Take Good Care of Yourself

If you take care of your health, you will be at your best and more resistant to stress and sickness. Here are a few recommendations:

• Get a good night’s sleep every night (at least 8 hours).

• Exercise on a regular basis.

• Consume a healthy, well-balanced diet. It’s ok to splurge with a few treats at a party, but a few extra calories here and there might add up to seasonal weight gain, which will slow you down.

• Drink in moderation. The neurological system is depressed by alcohol, which can lead to weariness and sleep difficulties.

• Take some time to relax. Every day, take a hot bath or find a quiet area to spend some time alone.

• As much as possible, stick to your healthy routine.

Don’t Forget the Pleasure

Try to come up with unique and inventive methods to celebrate the holidays. Remember that you are a “human being” rather than a “human doing”! Enjoy the distinct qualities of each particular person in your life, as well as the time you have together. Spend time with your friends and family enjoying the simple pleasures of the holiday season. Simple and healthy ways to enjoy the holidays include taking a walk around the neighborhood to look at holiday decorations, singing songs, playing games, or simply conversing.

Limit Expectations

Don’t get caught up in how you think the holidays should be. We’ve all been taught that the holidays are a time of immense joy, love, and togetherness. Many people, whether they are grieving the loss of a loved one, facing financial difficulties, or having trouble with their family relationships, might be having a difficult time over the holidays. The “holiday blues” are a term used to describe a period of sadness that occurs around this time of year.

Keeping your expectations reasonable is one strategy to decrease stress and the “holiday blues.” Despite your best efforts, things will almost certainly not be ideal. In addition to enthusiasm and joy, there may be disappointments, conflicts, and frustrations. Allow for unavoidable delays and setbacks by trying to go with the flow. Expect nothing less than perfection from yourself and others around you.

Accept your feelings if you are grieving a loss or feeling sad and lonely. Don’t feel bad about being unhappy or try to make yourself joyful just because it’s the holiday season. Adopt a nurturing attitude toward oneself if you’re going through a difficult moment. Don’t be hesitant to ask family, friends, or a counselor for help. If you’re feeling lonely around the holidays, consider increasing your social support or offering your services to others in need. Helping others in need is a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas season’s message, as well as a fantastic method to make yourself feel better.

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