Finding the perfect gift. Shopping and crowds. Plans upon plans and parties upon parties. While the holiday season is wonderful, full of cheer and merriment, it doesn’t mean it can’t be stressful.
It’s a very busy time of year, and you probably have a ton on your to do list: gift shopping, party planning, shopping for food and drink, sending cards, office holiday soirees, and more – all on top of your typical to-do lists. It’s overwhelming at times!
But the holiday should be joyous, a time to celebrate and relax with your best friends and family. We’ve thought through a few tactics to ensuring a stress-free holiday done right, ranging from new activities to attempting to achieve consistency.
- Learn to say no to at least one or two things. It’s critical during busy times to put yourself first every once in a while. If you have a party you’re feeling too stressed to go to, don’t! It will probably be there next year. Sometimes, in order to enjoy the season, you just need to be alone… and that’s okay. Listen to your body and respond accordingly.
- Stick with your daily routine. While the holidays might feel too busy to keep up with your normal workout or other regular practices, it’s important to stick with it. If you fit in a run every day, be sure to keep that consistency during the holidays. If you like to read thirty minutes before bed each night, don’t forgo it for a holiday chore. Continuing everyday practices can help calm and center us even in the busiest of times.
- Enjoy people over perfection. It can be tempting to have the house spot-free, a beautiful dinner table setup, or perfectly wrapped gifts. But at the end of the day, it’s the people you’re spending time with that matter most – not how clean your house is for them. Focus on the good times with people rather than the perfection you hope to achieve.
- Turn off your gadgets. The holidays are a perfect time to unplug and unwind. Use your holiday parties or gift-opening sessions as phone-free times. Everyone deserves to shut off from the rest of the world every once in a while, and enjoy the time with those in their presence.
- Prioritize the most important. Chances are, every single to-do on your list doesn’t have to get done – you just feel pressure to do it. Prioritize those tasks that are most important to accomplish one day, and focus on those first and foremost. If you’re having trouble getting started on a task, break it up into smaller chunks. For instance, if writing your cards is stressing you out, think through which are the ten most important ones and send those first.
- Bundle up and head out on a sunny hike. Being outdoors in the sunlight stimulates the release of feel-good serotonin that can instantly make you feel stress-free and happy. On top of this, the rhythm and repetition of walking can help decrease anxiety. Head out into the great outdoors to quell stress instantly!
Overall, the holiday season should be fun! This is called “the most wonderful time of the year” for a reason. Take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy – stress-free.