The festive season is fast approaching and for many people, stress depression and anxiety can make this season anything but merry. Here’s 5 stress reduction tips to help you avoid burnout during the holidays:
• Lower your expectations. The holidays are so exciting! Being with loved ones, Christmas decorations, lights, presents and much feasting! As the holiday approaches, expectations increase as to how the holiday will be only for them to be dashed when the holidays arrive. So, try not to place high expectations on how events will unfold. Always expect the unexpected and remember that humans can react unpredictably and surprisingly. Also, life can throw us the odd curve ball, especially when we least want it, so just have a “what will be will be” attitude and hopefully, the holidays will be perfect. Avoiding high expectations means you won’t become stressed out or upset should things not turn out the way you wanted.
• Plan ahead. Make a detailed plan for all of the things you need to do. Be thorough and try to do as much in advance as possible. The more you can get done before the holidays the less stressful the season will be. Include shopping, decorations, wrapping, meal preparation, sending cards, visiting family, and a schedule for the big day. This will help you get organized so you’ll get more done and you’ll feel less stressed. Make checklists so you can mark progress as you go. Another great tip is to have a backup plan in case things go awry.
• Delegate. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure happy holidays. The Christmas dinner alone really can be hard work for the cook! Too much work leads to stress burnout so make sure the whole family share the workload. Delegate by sharing chores amongst the whole family and get children involved too. It’s true – many hands make light work – and they also reduce stress in doing so.
• As much as the holidays are about spending time with family, having the family over can be highly stressful. Not all families get along, and stress levels can soar at get-togethers. If you have family members who are unappreciative, argumentative, aggressive, sulky – the kind of people who will spoil the day, then say “no!” and don’t invite them. The holidays are about joy and happiness, so inviting people who will ruin everyone’s day isn’t on. But a sense of duty can lead to inviting someone around against your better judgement. Your only duty is to your immediate family – your spouse and your children – not to any other family members. If your family get along, fine, but if you know there’s going to be fireworks, then make everyone’s day by not having stress as an unwanted holiday guest.
• Set your budget and stick to it. It’s really tempting to spend money during the holidays and many people will rack up huge debts doing so. The debt then becomes a major stress factor after the holidays have ended. You don’t need to buy people expensive gifts and you don’t need to go into debt to impress people. The Internet is a fantastic source for finding creative and imaginative gifts that will give the receiver a highly valued special surprise because it shows thoughtfulness. Debt is to stress what pizzas are to waistlines and you can pay a heavy price for impressing people with gifts. Stick to your budget and you will reduce stress, not just over the holidays but for many months after.