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How stressed do you get around the holiday season???
The average American spends 42 hours a year on holiday activities.
That’s one standard work week spent shopping, wrapping, and returning presents, attending holiday parties, and traveling from place to place.
And more than likely all of these extra tasks are added into our already hectic schedules.
It’s no surprise to me that women reported feeling slightly more stressed than men — and parents in general feel more stressed than most groups.
Being a parent of two teenage boys, I can totally relate!
It seems like our stress starts with Halloween in October and continues until New Year’s Day.
We end up filling our calendars up with special occasions and family obligations.
Here are 6 ways to help you manage the stress of holidays so you can still remain sane and enjoy making memories with friends & family:
1. Just Say NO!
We all have issues with saying no. We want to make everyone happy, but this year it will be different.
• Refuse the sugar cookie form Aunt Jane, letting her know that it’s not on your food plan.
• Don’t say yes to helping your sibling wrap gifts if you’re pressed for time, too.
It’s tempting to say yes to every invitation and every opportunity to volunteer during the holidays, but if you pick and choose the ones that are closest to your heart, you will feel less stressed.
There’s no need to lie or to explain why you can’t participate. Just say that you already have plans that day.
(Just make sure they tell you the date, prior to you saying you already have plans! LOL)
2. Downsize Your Holiday Celebration.
Do you really need 50 of your closest friends? Who even has 50 close friends?
• Maybe invite 10 couples that you have the most enjoyable evenings with?
• Maybe not your extended family’s extended family? If you do have to invite EVERYONE, ask them to bring a side dish or dessert.
They can’t really expect you to do it all.
3. Involve Your Kids!
Kids feel more secure when their days follow a predictable order. It improves their moods, and helps to create a peaceful household.
Of course, a regular schedule isn’t always possible during the holidays.
• You can minimize holiday chaos by involving your children in holiday planning.
• Helping with the planning can help your kids feel more in control during busy times, thus decreasing your own stress level.
4. Increase Your Outdoor Time During the Day.
The sun stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin.
It also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which impacts so many people who are stuck indoors or live in the colder climates.
Spending time outdoors, or near a window on sunny days, will increase your Vitamin D, and make you feel happier inside.
5. Stick With Your Daily Routine.
Prioritize your workouts, meeting up with friends, etc., and don’t try to squeeze in more holiday than you can handle.
• Make your workout a meeting in your planner and do not cancel it!
• Exercise is a great stress reliever!
6. Turn Off the Tech Gadgets.
Go without technology.
• Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts keep us constantly fighting between tasks.
• This is not only exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women.
• What better time to turn your gadgets off than during a holiday get-together?
• Enjoy spending time with your family and friends, perhaps plays the game “all cell phones in the center,” or maybe even collect cell phones as they walk in the door!
Follow these steps, keep calm, and have stress-free and happy holidays!