The holidays can become a stressful time for everyone. The American Psychological Association (APA) says that stress impacts women in particular because we often 'take charge of many of the holiday celebrations.' Even worse, this stress can start around Thanksgiving and not let up until well after Reyes.
There are some things you can do to alleviate a bit of the stress and celebrate the busy holiday season with your sanity intact.
Delegate the Work
Since the added workload of shopping, wrapping presents, cooking and planning events creates a lot of the stress around the holidays, learn to delegate these tasks to take some of the load off you.
- Shop online instead of roaming from store to store. You may spend a little more on postage, but you’ll also find some deals and save time and fuel costs.
- Have children help wrap presents for other family members. If your children aren’t very skilled at wrapping presents, purchase gift bags and tissue paper and let them put together the packages.
- Ask for help with cooking big meals or plan a pitch-in.
- Have the whole family get involved in signing, addressing and stamping holiday cards.
Take a Timeout
On those days when you’re feeling particularly stressed, don’t be afraid to say “no” to outside events, such as a holiday party thrown by a distant relative or a work event that isn’t mandatory. You are one person and can’t do everything.
- Schedule a massage or mani/pedi sometime during the hectic holiday season as planned relaxation time.
- Have a cup of coffee with a trusted friend so you can vent a bit about the stresses you’re dealing with.
- Plan time at home where you can rest and relax, so you don’t get under the weather and risk catching a cold or exhaustion.
Stick to Your Budget
In a Think Finance survey of 1,000 Americans of different income levels, researchers found that 45% would just prefer to skip the holiday season because of the financial stress it put on their budgets. If finances get you down during the holidays, try these tips to get things under control:
- Set a budget for each person on your shopping list and stick to it.
- Make some of the gifts. There are plenty of baking ideas that make great gifts.
- Donate a small amount in the recipient’s name to a charity of their choosing.
- Be honest with family and tell them what you can and can’t afford. Most people will understand.
There’s no doubt the holidays can be a stressful time from the chaos of the season, not to mention the financial commitment. Reclaim the joy by following these tips and remembering the true spirit of the season is about spending time with those you love and being kind to others.
How do you reduce stress during the holidays? Let us know in the comments!