5 Ideas to Help Deal with Holiday Stress

5 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

Do sugar plum fairies dance in your heads?

I don’t know about sugar plum fairies in my head but the holiday season always puts me in a great mood.  For many people, December’s holidays are filled with hope and optimism.  Holiday celebrations, family gatherings, and family traditions fill our calendars.  Personally, our family looks forward to lebkuchen, a traditional German Christmas treat, and choosing our annual family ornament.  It seems like you can’t help but to get caught up in the holiday spirit.

However, this time of year can also be very stressful for many.  A report released by the American Psychological Association states that 61% of American report experiencing holiday stress.  In another survey conducted by MetLife, 42% of workers consider December to be the most stressful time of the year.  So what can you do to help relieve some of this holiday stress?  We have 5 suggestions below that might help!
1. It doesn’t have to perfect
We all have expectations about the holidays and want everything to be just right.  However, remind yourself that everything does not have to perfect.  You may be expecting certain friends or family members to stop by your home for the holidays, but they cancel at the last moment.  Find creative ways to still celebrate together.  You can share pictures, send emails, exchange videos, or even hold a Skype session.  Ultimately, just remember to go with the flow!

2. Plan ahead
As if our normal schedule is not hectic enough, the holidays add another dimension.  To avoid a lot of the stress that comes along with holiday shopping, create a list of all the people you need to shop for, the items you want to purchase for them, where to purchase the gifts, and how much the items will cost.  This will help you to not get sidetracked and keep to a holiday budget.

3. Take a break
It is very easy to get caught up in the holiday festivities.  Take some time out every day to relax and not be surrounded by holiday distractions.  Consider going for a walk, listening to calming music, reading a book, or watching a favorite movie.  Taking time to “recharge” does wonders.

4. Learn to say “no”
It is easy to get caught up in the holiday mood and you want to commit to everything and everyone.  The problem is that you can’t do it all.  Create a schedule so that you can recognize your limitations and do not stretch yourself to the point of exhaustion.

5. Know what is important
There are so many things happening around us during this season that it is easy to forget what really is important.  Focus on what matters most to you.  Perhaps it is spending quality time with family members or catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a while.  Recognizing what is important will help you to keep everything in perspective.

What are some of your ideas to help alleviate some of the holiday stress?