5 Tips on Managing Holiday Stress

By: Women's Care Staff

Long lines at the stores, skyrocketing credit card bills, and burnt turkeys are all the hallmarks of a stressful holiday season. With increased stress comes decreased health, making it hard to stay healthy and happy during the holidays. However, managing holiday stress is a new tradition you can learn. Follow the five steps below for holly, jolly, and stress-free holidays.

Set realistic holiday expectations

Everyone’s pictures on Facebook will show perfect holiday moments. You’ll see smiling children, dogs in cute sweaters, and perfectly baked desserts. However, you won’t see moments with crying kids, the dog making a mess, and the burnt pies tossed in the garbage.

The first step when learning how to manage holiday stress is to set realistic expectations. Life isn’t a Hallmark movie. Your kids will get upset. The family may fight. A gingerbread house might crumble. Nonetheless, the holiday season can still be great. Instead of focusing on the mishaps, focus on the exciting parts of the holidays. For instance, enjoy your children’s faces lit by holiday lights. Feel grateful for spending time with your family while you still can. Plus, think about how you’ll laugh about that coal pie next year.

Get started early

Managing holiday stress and black Friday shopping don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. Black Friday doesn’t have to be the first day of the holiday shopping season. Get started early on buying gifts so you can choose from a large selection and have time to wait for sales that meet your budget. Also, ask your family for lists so you can get what they really want.

In addition, get started on holiday cooking and baking early. simply freeze the dishes or cookie dough. These techniques will save you time during the holiday rush.

Share the wealth of work

If you are hosting holiday get-togethers, you have to clean and decorate your house, stock up on supplies and handle all the cleanup. Make hosting easier on yourself by asking others to bring dishes. Give your partner or kids a list of things to do to help, whether it is going grocery shopping or vacuuming the floors. By delegating some of the work, you can lower your stress and have more time to enjoy the holidays with your family.

Managing holiday stress by prioritizing

It seems there are more holiday traditions and obligations than the time during those precious few weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. You don’t have to participate in all of them; pick your favorites instead.

Don’t enjoy baking? Don’t make cookies. Don’t see the point in holiday cards? Don’t send them. Don’t want to go to the neighborhood holiday party again this year? Have a night in with your family instead. Though you might feel pressure to participate in everything, remember the holiday season is about being merry and bright. Do what’s right for you and your family to ensure you feel that way.

Take a vacation

If you associate the holidays with bad memories or just don’t enjoy the holiday season, don’t feel pressured to celebrate. Instead, take a vacation. Get away for a while with friends or family or even on your own. You can even enjoy a staycation wherever you are by visiting tourist attractions you’d normally skip or trying new restaurants.

Remember: there is no single, perfect holiday season. Everyone celebrates differently, so find a way to truly enjoy your celebrations without stress. For more seasonal tips, read “Fun Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays.” From everyone at Women’s Care, we wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday.

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