The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful. Between shopping, baking, decorating, parties, and your kids’ expectations, you may find that you’re burning the candle at both ends. Our tips may help you to take charge of your holidays and your stress level this year!
- Make your holiday season what you want it to be. Do you dread your company’s holiday party each year? Do your relatives and your in-laws pull you in a dozen different directions throughout the season? Does every single person in your family, including your kids, hate standing in line to meet Santa at the mall? There’s a simple solution right at your fingertips. Have the season you and your family want to have. Go to the parties you actually enjoy. Skip the traditions you don’t. Setting boundaries and doing what makes your family happy will simplify your schedule and make each festivity even more special.
- And the same goes for the activities that take up much of our time during the holiday season. You know what we mean. The baking. The cooking. The wrapping. The decorating. You may enjoy some of these things more than others. Do you absolutely love stringing lights and choosing the perfect wreath? Then go for it! But if you hate baking, buy a special dessert from your local bakery and bring it to your next party. Pick and choose the activities you actually enjoy, and discard the ones you don’t.
- Keep the kids’ schedules in mind. Can your kids handle everything, from back to back family parties to staying up late to watch tree lightings? Great! But if your brood becomes whiny and exhausted after a long weekend of nonstop holiday activity, take notice. Cut out nonessential activities, and spend that time enjoying hot cocoa at home and reading books or playing games. Your kids may not know how to tell you that they are stressed, so look for cues.
- And remember your own stress level. We know it may seem difficult, but try to schedule some time for yourself this holiday season. Can your spouse watch the kids after work while you take an hour or two off to take a walk, visit a friend, or see a movie? Even just an hour of your own time away from work and the family can help to regenerate your energy levels.
- Get moving. Gym memberships see their biggest surge in signups after the new year, but the best time to get your heart pumping and your muscles moving may be right now. Take a walk, go for a hike with the family, get to the gym before work at least a couple of days per week, or even just work in a few reps per muscle group while you’re watching TV after the kids have gone to bed. Exercise will decrease your stress levels and give you an energy boost.
How do you stay sane, and keep your family sane, during the holidays? We’d love to hear your tips in the comments section.