Is Holiday Stress Inevitable?
The holidays can be stressful! And they’re starting earlier and earlier every year, like in September, have you noticed?
That means that the stress can start earlier as well.
I searched the internet for “holiday stress” to find advice. The articles I came across were more about what to do once you’re already stressed out, rather than how to avoid the stress in the first place. But it doesn’t’ have to be that way!
We can reduce the holiday stress by doing a few simple things before the holidays run us over!
Some simple preparation and focusing on what’s most important will go a long way to preventing that anxiety from taking the joy out of the season!
5 Simple Steps To Cutting Your Holiday Stress:
Step #1 → Remember the Reason for the Season
Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas or some other special day, remember why. It’s not really about gifts, parties or food!
Christians are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on Christmas. He was born over 2000 years ago in an ordinary stable in a small town and laid in the animals’ feeding trough to sleep. Though he was King of Kings, he came as a humble child.
This scene of peace is meant to point us to the Savior of the world. We celebrate his birth because of what his coming to earth meant for the world – salvation. Not just at Christmas, but always.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:1)
Whichever reason for the season means the most to you, if you keep it in the forefront of your mind, the stress of the season is less likely to overwhelm.
Step #2 → Schedule Family Times First
Schedule dates for your own family traditions and gatherings before committing to other holiday events. That way, it’s less likely these cherished family events don’t get pushed out by a company party you have to attend or a church volunteering commitment.
Your children will treasure these special family times forever!
You might also be interested in my 20 Fun and Meaningful Holiday Family Traditions for some ideas for memories you can create.
Step #3 → Schedule Outside Events After Family Events
- Make sure everyone in the family is aware of the schedule, so you don’t overbook and stress out!
- Post a physical calendar in a common location, so it’s in plain view every day.
I found a fun calendar that’s also super practical: Sandra Boynton’s Mom’s Family Calendar.
The days are in horizontal lines, instead of little squares, giving plenty of room to add everyone’s important happenings!
Here are some of the activities that you might need to add to your calendar during the holidays:
- Parties with friends
- School productions
- School parties
- Special religious services
- Work-related parties
- Vacation days
- Extended family gatherings and more!
Step #4 → Prepare Meals Ahead and Freeze Them for Busy Nights
Make a double batch of dinner for several nights and freeze half. Then all you have to do is defrost!
If you really want to get ahead, make a couple of weeks or a month’s worth and glide right through the holidays!
Here’s a super popular cookbook that takes it to that next level. You can see more here.
Step #5 → Give Yourself a Break!
Add relaxation, rest and rejuvenation into your schedule.
- Schedule time that isn’t focused on the season. Not everything has to be holiday-themed! Take a break.
- Exercise. It’s a stress-reducer, especially if you can get outside and enjoy the fresh air and beauty around you at the same time.
- Don’t trade sleep for tasks. Your body needs good rest to replenish its stores of energy. Pare down the schedule if it’s interfering.
- Eat well. We sometimes grab what’s in front of us when we’re busy and it’s usually not that healthy. Keep fresh fruits, veggies and nuts around for energy-giving snacks.
- Relax. Get a quick 15-minute shoulder and neck massage while you’re at the mall or schedule and hour! Or, click here to treat yourself to one of these so the gift just keeps giving! My son gave me one of these neck massagers this year and it’s an oasis of relaxation!
- Remind yourself that you’re not in a competition. In many ways, our culture has manufactured the stress of the holidays. You don’t have to participate in the race!
- Accept that you can’t do it all. It’s just not humanly possible to accomplish everything on the to-do list before Christmas. It’s OK!
- Enjoy! laugh and have fun as much as you can. If your kids are small, ignore their tantrums (they get stressed, too) an focus on the wonder.
Hope these 5 Simple Steps To Cutting Stress Out of Your Holidays have helped you!
If so, would you please share this post? Thank you!
I’d love to hear some of the ways you cut stress during holidays in the comments below.