How to Avoid Holiday Stress

It’s that time of year. Summer is over, the days are getting shorter, and sweater weather is upon us. This can only mean one thing —  it’s also the holiday season!! 

Unfortunately, the giddy anticipation you feel from being able to break out the cool-weather clothes and enjoy peppermint mochas sometimes makes you forget the biggest downer of the holidays — stress. Here are some tips on how to avoid holiday stress and enjoy the season. 

Start Early

We know, we know. Easier said than done, right? However, getting a jump on planning can reduce your stress level and give you ample time to prepare everything that needs to get done. Speaking of planning…

Master the Art of Making Lists

Make like Santa and check those lists. It makes planning so much easier, and it’s fun! Is there anything more satisfying than a finished list of accomplishments? Some list ideas are:

  • Who to invite and any dietary restriction they may have 
  • Dinner menu and cook times
  • Event itinerary
  • Gift ideas
  • Decorations
  • Cleaning schedule for before and after the festivities

If you want to get fancy, there are tons of free printable downloads with great ideas on what to do, and in what time frame. 

Use Your Calendar

Getting into the habit of entering your schedule into your virtual planner is an excellent way to avoid the dreaded accidental double-booking. Many people find keeping a physical planner helpful as well. The act of actually writing it down can help you remember, and gives you a golden excuse to invest in fun office supplies. 

Make Home Delivery Your Friend

Know what makes shopping easier? Doing it at home in front of your screen on your couch. We live in an age where you can order everything from your smartphone — why not take advantage?

Taking care of your gift checklist is a breeze when ordering online. Avoid shopping in person for food by placing an online order for curbside pick-up or delivery. Check out these tips for online grocery shopping if you are new to it. You can even take it next level and order pre-made meals for the big day — while we made this list for Thanksgiving meals, most grocery stores offer pre-made meals for the December holidays as well.   

Ask for Help 

When planning for big events, don’t hesitate to ask close friends, family, or members of your household for help. Often we assume if they were willing to help, they’d offer, but they may not even be aware of your struggle. Don’t hesitate to pass out jobs to lighten your workload. You can even get the kids involved

Set a Budget

The holidays can come with a hefty price tag if you’re not careful. It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercialism side of the holidays when it’s the least important. DIY gifts can be a thoughtful way to show you care. Or, instead of giving your loved ones more stuff they don’t need, come up with outings you can do together instead. Making memories can last a lifetime. 

Make Yourself a Priority

The holidays are about giving, but the most important thing you can do to avoid stress is to give yourself a break. Remember it’s your holiday too, and you should spend it exactly how you want.

If the thought of hosting a big party or visiting relatives stresses you out, say no. Stay home with your partner, kids, or pet and do what you want. You can always compromise and visit another time. Remember: your needs are just as valid as everyone else’s. Setting boundaries is healthy for everyone. 

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