The Christmas season is a festive and special time in most parts of the world. In a frantic and almost crazy attempt to spread cheer; almost everyone is in the mood to party and indulge in good food and company.. With merriment all around, the months of November and December may easily be the busiest months for you. Ironically, the season that is supposed to be jolly can also lead to stress and anxiety.
A survey done by the American Psychological Association revealed that almost 50% of women in the U.S. experienced intense stress during the holiday season. The demand for shopping, gift-giving and gatherings during Christmas time also makes the women susceptible to ailments such as headaches and depression. The holiday blues are not exclusive to women, as another survey by Think Finance, a company providing financial services, showed that 45% of Americans would rather skip Christmas because of the financial pressure that goes with it.
Should you just skip the holidays?
Skipping the holidays is indeed an option you can take. You can totally ignore all traditions, refuse to accept gifts and pretend that Christmas does not exist. This decision, though, has the potential to feel more distressing as it will take real effort to ignore all the music, decorations and events pertaining to the season. So a better option is to enjoy the holidays and choose to skip stress instead. Especially because a stress-free holiday season is so attainable with the following tips.
Prioritize and learn to say no.
Come up with a list of things you want to achieve and experience during the holidays. Then re-examine your list to determine the most important items and cross out those you can afford to forego. Getting clear about your intentions for the season can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed when faced with a myriad of activities to choose from. Accept the fact that you may not be able to fulfill all of the things on your list. To avoid stress, learn to say no to people, occasions or things that may eat up most of your time. Prioritizing also makes it easier for you to plan ahead and prepare.
Focus on the things that matters.
The survey from Think Finance mentioned above points out that money issues are a top reason for holiday stress. Perhaps you want to throw a grand party, have a relaxing vacation or shower everyone with gifts. At a glance, almost everything that you want to do to enjoy Christmas will require spending money. However, if you really think about it, material things are just shallow reasons for celebrating the holidays. A research by Consumer Research showed that for 60%of the 1000 survey respondents, spending time with loved ones is the most important part of the season. On the contrary, only 5% consider giving gifts as a top priority. This study shows that you do not need to spend a lot to have fun during the yuletide season.
Work on a budget.
The temptation to splurge is strongest during the holidays. But overspending may lead to regrets and cause more stress when the season is over. So with the tip above, it is a wise move to set a fixed and reasonable budget for Christmas celebrations. It will not be a bad idea to find ways to save money while you shop for gifts, plan a Christmas menu or book a vacation package.
Stay committed to usual routines.
The holidays may be an exciting time, but doing normal things can become challenging as traffic gets worse and places get crowded. To stay sane and healthy during Christmas, it is important to stay committed to the usual daily routines that ensure you get enough time for rest and relaxation. Amidst the holiday rush, do not sacrifice time for exercise or sleeping. You may get too preoccupied, but do not forget to take any medication or supplements you need daily. In the same way, if you have always been a healthy eater, do not use Christmas as an excuse to overeat.
Opt for convenient shopping and delegate tasks.
Everybody will agree that shopping during Christmas can be extra hard. To make things easier, you can plunge into the trend of online shopping. You can also avoid crowds and queues if you choose to shop during low peak hours at the mall. This may mean shopping during early hours on weekdays.
Christmas can demand a lot of your time and attention. You may get inspired with a picture perfect holiday dinner you saw in a magazine or get excited about a unique getaway for the whole family. But it is important to remember not to attempt perfection in order to make the the most of this happy season. Instead, take things one day at a time and do not forget that the most important thing is for you to have fun with people you care about.