Holiday stress has become as much of an expected part of Christmas as hanging the stockings and putting up the tree. In fact, nearly a quarter of Americans reported feeling “extreme stress” come holiday time according to a poll by the American Psychological Association. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve spoken with who personally agree. They constantly complain about how stressed they feel throughout the season. You know, they’re all wrapped up (no pun intended) in the traditions—the things that they “MUST” do, or it just isn’t Christmas.
For many of us, we’re like addicts trying to capture our first high. We want to relive the Christmas of our past, when it really “felt” like Christmas. There was no stress, no pressure and certainly no anxiety about making it all perfect. We were simply in the moment and the wonder of the season was at our fingertips.
This is why I’ve decided to make this Christmas different this year.
It’s impossible to recapture the wonder of the past, and our children won’t be scarred for life. Folks want to remake the Christmas’ of their childhood for their own children. There is nothing wrong with that sentiment—IF you don’t need to kill yourself in the process. I propose starting new, easier traditions to replace the old. Enjoy more moments and have a more magical holiday season.
Here are five tips for a better and more manageable holiday.....
1. Limit gift giving- Buy three gifts and give the rest in gift cards. This takes the stress off of you, and they can buy what they want.
2. Don’t make, buy- Don’t spend hours baking and cooking. Decide what is affordable to buy and do it. Homemade is not best if you have done nothing but stress about it.
3. Time- Give yourself the gift of time. Make time to spend with your loved ones. There’s no money involved, and they will always have that memory. Build a fire, make hot chocolate and watch White Christmas. Just remember to create a memory with the ones you love.
4. Walk- Instead of sitting around the house and eating, make a tradition of walking. Walking is a time that you can spend with others and you have the added health benefit!
5. Plan everything- Sit down on Sunday evenings before the holiday and plan out everything that you need to do. Then, take 3 things off the list. That’s it, take them off the list and throw them away in the trash. The holidays are about less being more.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best!