The holidays are upon us and usually that means joy and happiness but for some this can also bring negative emotions. Never ending gift lists, the pressure of making everything look perfect, family visiting; it can all lead to stress. Make the season more enjoyable by following these simple things you can do for a stress-free holiday season.
Have a plan and pace yourself – The best way to avoid stress in any situation is by planning. Decide where you will be spending the holidays, what you will be cooking, decorations you want to display, who you will be giving gifts to, etc.. When you plan ahead you are better able to pace yourself. Do only 1 or 2 things a time and avoid getting frantic trying to get these done last minute.
Budget before shopping – It’s hard not to over spend during the holidays but doing so can bring significant financial stress. Before you even start thinking on what to buy, make a list of the people you want to give gifts to and decide how much you want to spend on each. Making an overall budget and then assigning a dollar amount to each person is the best way to go. For budget friendly gifts, don’t overlook handmade gifts like a blanket, ornament, or even some baked goods.
Ask for help – Trying to do it all on your own is a sure way to get burned out during the holidays. Don’t feel bad about asking for help even before you start feeling overwhelmed. If you’re hosting a dinner or party ask friends to bring a dish to share, help decorate, send invites, etc.. If cooking is not your thing or you just want to enjoy yourself rather than stress out consider ordering food or hosting your get together at a restaurant. When buying gifts request gift wrapping at the store so it’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Keep it simple – You don’t need to go Pinterest crazy, become Martha Stewart or spend a lot of money to enjoy the holidays. Pick 1 or 2 things you want to focus on and don’t worry about the rest.
Be in the present – To really enjoy the holidays the best thing you can do is be in the present. Your family and friends may not remember the apple pie you spent hours making but they will remember the time you spent with them. This is another reason to plan ahead. The more things you can do ahead of time, the more time you will have to devote to those you love.
Practice gratitude – Being consciously grateful is proven to improve mood. Every day find at least 1 thing you are grateful for and think on that throughout your day. If you’re stressing about having family over, be grateful you have family to spend the holidays with. If it’s the cleaning or cooking that is stressing you be grateful you have a home and food to eat. Practicing gratitude changes your perspective and helps you see what is truly important.
Self-Care – Don’t let yourself get so stressed out you forget about yourself. Continue your daily routine, eat healthy meals, exercise and make time to pamper yourself and do the things you love. Like the saying goes, “you cannot pour from an empty cup.”
Remember what the holidays are really about – The most important thing you can do is to remember what the holidays are really about. It’s not about the expensive gifts, elaborate parties, or outdoing yourself or others. The holiday season is for spending time with loved ones, reflecting on the year we leave behind and being grateful.
Having the right insurance for your needs will also help you avoid stress during the holiday season and beyond. Contact us today to speak with a license agent to find the perfect policy and rate for your insurance needs.