Avoiding Holiday Stress

The holidays are just around the corner and all the festivities are about to begin. This can be a joyous season of fun and laughter or it can be a season filled with stress and too many obligations. The good news is that we can choose how we want to spend this holiday season.

Focus on what is important to you.

What is the most important part of celebrating the holidays? Is it spending time with family or friends? Maybe you enjoy the extra cooking and baking. Or perhaps you enjoy the gift giving, decorating, or other traditions. Before the holidays begin, decide what the most important things are for you and make sure you set aside time for those things first.

Make a plan for the holidays.

Use your calendar to make a plan for the weeks leading up to the holidays. Think about all your events, dinners, and work obligations. Put everything on your calendar. Next, put the days you will clean, buy groceries, cook, and shop for gifts. Plan a time for everything you will need to do so that you can be prepared.

Turn your tasks into fun activities.

When I need to clean the house, I put on music or a movie, pour myself a drink (not necessarily alcohol!), and make it a fun activity. When I go to the grocery store, I make myself a hot coffee or stop at Starbucks and then shop at my leisure. When I need to shop for gifts, I invite a friend or my daughter and make it into a fun event.

You don’t have to do everything.

When your list of to-dos is just too overwhelming, it may be time to delegate. Hire some house cleaners. Order your groceries online and have them delivered. Buy a premade dessert rather than make it from scratch. Although I prefer supporting local businesses, there are times that Amazon is very convenient. The idea is that you do not have to do everything yourself for you to enjoy the holidays.

Create special moments whenever and wherever you can.

Living in the present and being mindful will allow you to make each holiday moment special. You might enjoy a cup of eggnog with a friend or write out your holiday cards while listening to music. The best moments happen spontaneously without any plan at all. If we are not being mindful and avoiding stress, we may miss all the wonderful opportunities awaiting us this holiday season!

Featured photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash.