Now that the festive season is upon us, it seems like you have less time to do everything needed for holiday fun. Rushing around trying to finish all the tasks on your to-do list makes for a very stressful situation. But with a little planning and preparation, you can give yourself a chance to get everything done while reducing levels of stress.
Here are 10 quick tips to help you survive any festive season stress you may be experiencing:
1. Reflect on the purpose of these holidays
When you frame your perspective to align with the feelings in your heart, you can definitely reduce any associated stress. For example, ask yourself to consider, is it about money, or memories? When you think about the love and warm feelings that arise during holidays, it’s easier to relax. Remember, it’s good to reflect now rather than having this epiphany on the night before Christmas!
2. Don’t sacrifice your regular routine
December’s not all about endless shopping, cleaning and cooking. You still need time for yourself. For example, taking a random moment to go out for coffee will add brightness to your busy day. Remember to make time also for catching up with friends. You also still need “me-time.” Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself, because if you don’t, who will give you a break?
3. Make your guests feel at home
As a host, you don’t need to do everything. Besides, friends and family who are staying with you would be bored if you took care of it all. Drop the formalities and make sure everyone is at ease under your roof.
4. Live in the moment
Rather than worrying about if Christmas day events are going according to your well thought out plan, take five seconds to enjoy what’s happening with your family right now. You’ll find your sense of appreciation increases as stress levels plummet.
5. Stay connected
Remember that you are not alone in the holiday season. And this is not just when you see family on Christmas day. In addition to social media, email, phone calls and video chats, make time to get together in person with the special people in your life and maintain strong ties.
Meditation, prayer or quietly reflecting on your circumstances can be an enormous help in curbing stress. It’s good to take a break from the holiday chaos to go inward, filled with loving thoughts.
7. Reach out
Reach out to people whenever you need it, and return the favor when someone you know is in need. This could include people in your prayer chain at church, hearing about a friend who is going through some troubles, or noticing that a neighbor could use a helping hand. You will feel good when you do good things for others. Just because people put on a cheery face during the holidays, they still might have an issue that they need help with. So keep your eyes open and truly notice how others are doing.
8. Anticipate last minute hiccups and changes
If you adopt a mindset that lets you “go with the flow,” any problems that happen, you can just chalk them up to the usual minor chaos that comes with the holiday season. Despite all of your careful planning and preparation, you can’t anticipate every little issue that might arise. Letting go like this will sharply reduce stress and help you get in tune with the holiday season.
9. Stay Active
Keep up with your exercise regimen or start a program to stay in shape. Physical exertion can help reduce stress levels. If you don’t exercise on a regular basis already, now would be a great time to start. Even going for a walk every day can benefit you with lowered stress.
10. Make memories
Surround yourself with the people you love and make memories you’ll keep forever. Instead of taking loved ones for granted, tell them how you feel and make sure to prioritize spending time with them. Simple activities such as going for a walk in the park or doing volunteer activities together are a great excuse to reunite with the important people in your life.
Your experience of the festive season will be much better when you take steps now to start minimizing stress. The result is better memories of friends and family and a more rewarding holiday for all.