8 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress this Festive Season

8 ways to beat holiday stress his festive seasonWhether it is a strained relationship with a family member, a shrinking budget or simply the overwhelming task of planning everything, the festive season can leave many of us more stressed than refreshed!

It doesn’t always feel like the “most wonderful time of the year” but with some stress-busting strategies in place you may be able to cope better and even enjoy the season:

1. Create a to-do list

Find a space to relax, pour yourself a nice cup-of-something and make a list of every single thing that needs to be done.  Try to be as thorough as possible, but remember that you can always add to the list as things pop up in the days to come.  Just the mere act of writing the list will reduce your mental load tremendously.  Make sure you start tackling that list as soon as possible though!

2. Set a strict budget

I am in favor of foregoing the whole gift thing entirely, but if that’s your family’s thing and it brings you joy, you can still do it in a more manageable way.  Write out the name of each and every person you are buying a gift for and put the amount of money you are willing to/ can spend one that person next to their name (make sure no one sees it though!).  Making room in your budget for buying gifts and planning it in advance will give you peace of mind because you are taking control of your finances.  The key is to be strict with yourself and not give in to temptation to spend more money than you set out to.  You will not only have to budget for gifts, make sure you budget for any meals or activities you will be enjoying with your family too!  Keep in mind that you also have the option of making gifts, which leads me to the next point:

3. Consider making homemade gifts

Finances are one of the major causes of stress in the festive season.  Why not save money and get creative by making gifts yourself?  My co-worker had the wonderful idea of making and jarring marmalade as home-made gifts for her family which inspired me to do the same.  Homemade gifts are thoughtful, personal and creative and will probably be well received!  Here are 60 wonderful DIY gift ideas that are easy to make.

4. Start early

You don’t want to leave your holiday/ gift shopping to the last minute.  Overcrowded malls and long waiting lines will leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed.  Even better – do shopping online and skip the trips to the mall altogether.  There are usually great deals on this time of the year.  When the middle of December hits and you are done and dusted, you will be feeling much more relaxed and more capable of dealing with everything else.

5. Let go of perfection

You might have an idea in your head of how you want this holiday to go.  But that’s kind of the same as having New Year’s resolutions that you know won’t last.  Let go of wanting everything to go exactly as planned and just try to enjoy your loved ones as much as possible.

6. Accept your family as they are

We all have some family members we love and some we regret being related to.  Don’t hope or expect that their behavior will be any different this year than it was last year.  Take a deep breath and stay calm and polite – an attitude or response of kindness has the power to disarm the offender and take all the punch out of a nasty remark.  Decide beforehand how you are going to respond to various situations and remember to stick to your guns!  Fully accept that the only behavior you can control, is your own and let the rest go.

7. Adopt stress-busting activities

Doing exercise you love, reading a book or listening to some great music are all activities that can greatly reduce your stress.  If your life is super busy, try and schedule some time for activities that recharge you.  It really is non-negotiable to do this to avoid burnout.  Feeling anxious?  Neuroscientists have proven that this song reduces anxiety by 65%!

8. Share responsibility

If you feel like all the weight and responsibility is on your shoulders, now is the time to delegate.  Let your family members know beforehand that you would love it if everyone contributes in some way.  Whether it is making a dish or taking responsibility for some of the planning, if everyone pitches in it will reduce stress, eliminate resentment and create a sense of community.

Following the tips above can help you have a much more relaxed holiday season and help you feel ready and refreshed for 2018!  Do you have any tips for surviving silly season that was not listed above?  We would love to hear about it so feel free to leave a comment below!




On November 17th, 2017, posted in: News by ,

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