I can’t believe it is already September, the holidays are just right around the corner! This is our first holiday season with a little one. While I love the holiday season, it can be stressful. I have found that preparation and planning are key to reducing holiday stress. I have also found 3 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress and enjoy the season.
Travel Less. Most of us feel obligated to travel to see family during the holidays. While I know this is important, having a stress free holiday season is also important to your sanity. Sometimes traveling on Christmas Eve to 5 different houses just creates stress and exhaustion. Can you compromise? What if you planned to stay at home on the actual holidays this year and travel to see your family and friends sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Would it be the end of the world? For some, I know this isn’t an option, but if it is, you may want to consider into it.
Buy Less. My baby will be a year old 2 days after Christmas this year, trust me…it’s hard to resist the urge to buy every cute little thing you see, especially for your kids. It’s a vicious cycle, you buy more, you spend more and you end up with more clutter. Make a rule, for each gift you give your children this year, donate an item. Reduce the list of those that you buy for also. You don’t have to spend $30 on each of your co-workers, could you donate to a charity in their name? What if your extended family drew names and each person only had to buy for one other person? Buying less during the holiday season equals less stress.
Focus on the meaning of the season. I know it sound cheesy, but what is the reason for the season? Holidays are about spending time together, slowing down a bit and reflecting on the past year. You don’t have to be at every single function, your Christmas cards don’t have to have professional photos on them, you don’t have to bake treats for the neighbor’s dog. Focus on a few simple things that you enjoy about the season. Do you enjoy decorating your home with your family? Focus on that. What about baking? Give the gift of delicious food. Could your family volunteer at a shelter together? Do it, your eyes will be wide open after an experience like that.
The holidays are a time of joy and happiness for many, but also sorrow for so many. The stress of gift giving, parties and spending large amounts of money should not make you dread the season. What if this year you made it a point to bring joy to those who are less fortunate and maybe having a difficult holiday season this year? Find simple ways to give back and reduce the clutter and stress of the season. I promise you won’t regret it.