We are officially in the heart of the holiday season, and while the Christmas songs on the radio may be saying “it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” we know that it’s really one of the most stressful. While we do our best to fully prepare for the holiday season, the sheer amount of things that need to be done and the decreasing amount of time to do them in can cause a lot of stress.
Well, you need to add “relieve stress” to your holiday to-do list now! Though the thought of adding more things to your to-do list might be terrifying, prioritizing stress relief during the chaos of holiday errands is going to make the season just a little easier to handle and more enjoyable overall.
Here are some tips to help relieve stress during the holiday season:
When you’ve got a list of a million things to do, you may feel like you don’t have time to take a break and rest. This is the best way to completely burn yourself out. When you experience burnout, you’re likely to feel constantly stressed and perhaps even slightly resentful of the holidays.
In order to still enjoy the season, make sure to schedule some downtime that doesn’t involve holiday errands and obligations. Whether this time is spent with your family watching a classic holiday movie or going Christmas lighting, or taking some alone time to relax in a cafe with a hot cup of tea or take a soothing hot bath, downtime that is in no way related to the errands that are causing you stress will save your holiday spirit.
While it’s a little too late to have finished all your shopping before the season, it’s not too late to start early on other tasks associated with your holiday to-do list. Think about years past: Which tasks are you always up late doing on Christmas Eve? Are you always having to priority ship packages and letters to arrive before Christmas?
It’s no secret that doing things last-minute is extremely stressful, so getting ahead and doing things earlier than you have in the past will help alleviate some of that stress. Rather than waiting until Christmas Eve to wrap presents, wrap them as you buy them, so all you need to do is put them out on Christmas Eve. Take note of how long it takes to mail packages to the people you typically send to and then send those packages even earlier — always take into account possible weather delays. Having everything done earlier than you normally would take a huge amount of stress away.
Stay Organized and Prioritize
It is so easy to forget things and overbook yourself during the holiday season. Have you been tracking your Christmas list in your head and now you can’t remember if you picked up that present or if you already have that can of cranberry sauce at home? Did you say yes to every holiday event you were invited to and now you realize that your company holiday party and the charity event you volunteered for are on the same night?
In the chaos of holiday errands and events, you need to make sure you are staying organized and tracking everything. Keep a calendar or planner with you at all times and write down events and track your lists. Checking off items and prioritizing events will help keep you organized and stave off the stress that comes with keeping track of everything (unsuccessfully) by memory.
Take Care of Yourself
In the hustle and bustle of running errands and attending holiday events, your health tends to take a back seat. You eat out more because you don’t have time to cook. You don’t take the time to do your regular exercises because you just want to sit and not get up until you have to during any free time you might miraculously have.
Stress already takes a toll on your mental and physical health, and when you aren’t taking care of yourself when you’re stressed, you are just exacerbating the problem. As mentioned earlier, schedule downtime for yourself, and be sure to prioritize your health even when you are busy. Take some time to meal plan so you can have access to healthy, home cooked meals and snacks during the week when your schedule is most hectic. Do some yoga in the morning or take a long walk to get in some dedicated exercise. Do what you can to ensure your health and reduce your stress; your body will thank you!
It’s easy to get bogged down and overly stressed during the holiday season, but by planning ahead, keeping track of things, making sure you get some downtime, and prioritizing your health, you can minimize your stress and enjoy the holidays.
What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.
Until next time, shine amongst the stars!
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