The holiday season can catch even the most prepared of us off guard. Between planning parties, decorating, shopping for gifts, plus all of the other things we fit into our daily lives, it’s easy to see why so many of us get stressed during the holiday season. But just because we’ve grown used to the stress of the holidays doesn’t mean that we have to continue living with it.
I’m all about helping you break the cycle of feeling crazy busy and finding meaning in your life and your career. Due to all of their demands, the holidays are perhaps the perfect time to start taking back control of your life and striking a better balance. Let’s take a look at some simple ways you can manage holiday stress this year.
Set a Budget
For many holidays, there’s some tradition of giving. Be it gifts, food, or donations, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re spending during the holidays. A recent Gallup poll found that Americans were planning on spending an average of $830 on gifts during the holiday season. For some, this might be far more than they plan on spending, and the idea of “keeping up with the Jones” might compel you to spend more.
But don’t let the stress of holiday spending get to you. If you’re worried about finances this holiday, you can create some mental buffer room for yourself by creating a spending budget. Take a look at your regular expenses and your financial situation. Make sure that your basic needs are met first, and then build a budget you feel comfortable spending on gifts.
Stick to this budget! The temptation to use a credit card is strong during the holidays, but it only serves to throw off your finances in the months after the holidays. By sticking to a budget, you can find the right gifts and treats for your family without fretting over finances.
Don’t Forget Exercise
For some of us, zipping back and forth across the house cleaning and decorating for the family holiday party might feel like exercise enough. But exercise is an essential part of self-care. Countless studies and even common sense shows that exercise is a great way to elevate your mood and better manage your feelings of stress. That’s because exercise helps your body produce endorphins, which are responsible for that “warm and fuzzy” feeling you experience after a great workout. It helps to lessen your sense of stress.
If the idea of trying to fit exercise into your already busy holiday schedule is making your head spin, don’t worry! Try easy exercises like going on a run with the dog, a few pushups and crunches before bed, or even just walking to the nearest coffee shop in the mornings.
Prioritize Quality Rather than Quantity of Time
The holidays are a time for family. And while many of us have an idealized vision of what family time means during your seasonal gatherings, this isn’t always reflected in reality. You might love the idea of gathering around a fireplace with the whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins, and all.
But more than just the room might be heated in gatherings like this. Be realistic about how much time your family and friends can comfortably spend with each other. It’s okay to set limits with your loved ones and be clear that they’re invited to some events and not others, or even just set designated “visiting hours” during the holidays. By focusing on the quality of time you’re spending together, rather than the quantity, you’ll better enjoy the experience.
Ask for Help
It’s important to remember that this time of year is all about togetherness, so why not invite others to help you? As women, we get caught up in this expectation that it’s our responsibility to make the holidays happen. As a result, we put undue pressure on ourselves to cook, clean, bake, decorate, wrap, drive, and on and on. The fact is, even during non-holiday months it can be a lot to handle.
Asking for help allows others to participate in these important (and sometimes fun) tasks. Rather than stressing about whether everything will be perfect, you can rest easy knowing that your family and friends will feel joy in the chance to help you, and you’ll get to enjoy the fact that your holiday celebrations were a collaborative effort.
Take Control of Holiday Stress Today With Marie’s Program
This holiday season, spend less time stressing and more time celebrating. You can sign up for my FREE masterclass, 5 Shifts to Create Work-Life Balance, to learn how to balance work, life, and the holidays, without giving up time for any of them. I’ll share the secrets to developing deeper relationships, to saying goodbye to that overwhelmed feeling, and how to feel more enthusiasm in everything you do.
Don’t wait! Sign up today!