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I have always loved Christmas. Being able to gift my family amazing gifts that they love, spending time with them as they enjoy those gifts, the amazing decorations, lights and of course; the true meaning of the season have always made Christmas a special time of year for me. For me, taking the time to prepare for the Christmas season means that I can enjoy it instead of stressing. It wasn’t always like that though and in years gone by, I had a pretty bad habit of allowing myself to become so stressed about Christmas that I wouldn’t sleep for days. It was during one of those sleepless nights that I realized the fuss I was making over the holidays were only causing me to have to deal with unnecessary holiday stress and that I was making things much harder on myself than they needed to be.
It was that revelation that forced me to put a few holiday organizing tips into place and to figure out ways to beat holiday stress. Whether we realize it or not, the holidays are a major stressor for most people and that stress often causes us to not enjoy the season to the fullest. By putting a few new habits into practice; like the ones in this post; we give ourselves a chance to get ahead of things that otherwise would cause you to stress so much that you forget what the season is really about.
Tips for Beating Holiday Stress
These aren’t in any particular order, but they will all help keep you sane during the Christmas season. Use them all or only use one, but you will be glad that you did. I certainly was the first year that I made sure things were done this way. Since then, I’ve been able to enjoy the season the way that it was meant to be instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
Get Your Budget in Order to Reduce Holiday Stress
One of the biggest causes of holiday stress is a budget that is either out of control or one that simply doesn’t contain enough money in it to do what you need it to do. By taking the time to prepare your budget for holiday spending, you give yourself the chance to avoid the holiday spending headaches. If you know for certain that you won’t have enough money to cover Christmas, it is time to think about making more money. There are quite a few ways to earn money online that will all payout quickly which means the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be using them to pay for Christmas.
Use lists to help reduce holiday stress
I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it in a post, but I am the queen of lists. I use a list for everything in my life and that includes Christmas. Each night, before I go to bed, I make my list for the next day. They include everything from work that needs done to showering since having literally everything on there allows me to prioritize where I spend my time. For Christmas, I make a separate list that includes everything from gifts I am looking to purchase to hanging the lights and garland. Another option for those that don’t like lists is to use a printable Christmas organizing package to help stay on top of things.
Manage holiday stress by using your weekends
If you feel as if you’re running out of time and are starting to feel holiday stress creep in, use your weekends to make up for lost time. Saturday and Sunday’s are great for doing things such as making candy, hanging decor and more. This is especially true if you or your partner work throughout the week. In this case, weekends might be the only time you have to do your holiday tasks.
Use essential oils to help relieve holiday stress
If you don’t already use them, essential oils can be great at relieving stress. Picking up an essential oil diffuser and diffusing lavender essential oil, lemon or citrus essential oil or even peppermint essential oil can all help to release some of the holiday stress you’re holding in. Plus, if you go with peppermint, your home will smell like Christmas at the same time!
Get help managing holiday stress
When it comes time to hang decorations, wrap gifts, cook and bake, attempting to do it all yourself will almost certainly lead to you stressing more than you expected. Instead, ask for help. Grab a friend and have her help you wrap presents. Let the kids help you bake the cookies and candy. Get your hubby or partner to hang decorations for you. By delegating tasks, you keep your own Christmas to-do list manageable.
Hire a Sitter to Manage Holiday Stress
Taking the kids shopping or having them under foot when you’re trying to do something that could be dangerous such as hanging lights outside is simply a stressful situation waiting to happen. Instead, hire a sitter to watch them for a couple of hours while you do what you need to do. You may spend a bit of ut when you aren’t chasing them around or trying to keep them from getting hurt by a falling set of lights, you’ll be glad you did. If you’re worried about finding a reliable sitter, using a site such as Care.com to find one can help with that.
Manage holiday stress by starting early
If you know that you have a huge amount of Christmas tasks that need to get done, make sure to start early. Decorations can be put up the weekend after Thanksgiving without much of an issue. Groceries for Christmas dinner, candy and cookies can be purchased at the same time as your Thanksgiving dinner ingredients. Gifts can be wrapped as you purchase them instead of waiting until Christmas Eve. The earlier you can get things taken care of, the less stress you will have as the season progresses.
Have a minimal Christmas to manage holiday stress
If the big decoration themes, massive list of recipes and large number of gifts is stressing you out, why not opt for a minimal Christmas instead? Put up a 2 foot pre-lit Christmas tree and call your decorations done. Buy pre-made Christmas cookies for Santa. The season is about family and if opting out of the commercial side of things reduces your stress level I say go for it.
Finally, Don’t sweat the small stuff
If at the end of the day, you didn’t get it all done, don’t beat yourself up for it. It is what it is and at the end of the day; the holidays are about family, love and everything in between. If the garland isn’t hung, if the mashed potatoes are lumpy and the gravy flat out didn’t turn out; it’s okay. Your family will still love you and remember this year simply for the fact that you tried. You also never know; it may turn into something you can laugh about later. Just ask my Emma about the year of the green turkey.