I was asked to speak at a church gathering last Saturday and they wanted me to give them Tips for Making the Holidays Less Stressful. Honestly, before Saturday, the only idea I’ve ever had for making the holiday’s less stressful, was to escape them and go on a cruise! Okay, maybe that won’t work for every holiday. But I highly suggest you try it at least once!
Holidays can be very nerve wrecking! Trying to coordinate schedules and bring everyone in the extended family together is bound to bring some stress. But, luckily there are some very easy ways to help reduce the stress! I did some research and here are some of the best tips to make the holidays less stressful and will actually help me! If you find anything that works for you, let us know in the comments!
- Keep Spiritually Fit. I’ve always been a spiritual person, so this is something I KNOW helps me. Don’t forget the basics. Pray, read your scriptures, and attend church services. This will keep your life in balance and help you to be better equipped for any stress that is out of your control.
- Don’t get into debt! Only make purchases that you can afford. It sounds hard to do, especially because there are always a million people to buy for. The people you love wouldn’t want you to be suffering for months after the holidays, so don’t do anything more than you can afford. Being debt free is freeing!
- Keep physically fit. Take time to exercise. Even a small walk in nature or a relaxing swim can free your mind from anxiety and depression. A little sunlight helps too!
- Set priorities and goals. Sit down with your spouse and family and decide what you want your holidays to look like. What do you envision the perfect holiday looking like? Do you HAVE to cook a 7 course meal for the entire family? Does it bring you joy? You decide! Don’t feel pressured to do anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Consider what will bring your loved ones joy? Will they be able to enjoy the holidays if you’re stressing over the ham and potatoes all day? I’d be willing to bet that they’d like spending calm stress-free time with you instead of having you frazzled all afternoon.
- Change Habits. If you know that being with family during the holidays is going to bring you stress, think of ways that can help reduce that stress. Invite family members to help with meals. Eat on paper plates if you have to! Play games together as a family, or sit around the fire and visit. Shorten the length of time that everyone is together if you need to. You decide what you need to do to make YOUR holiday successful and let other people know what they can do to help facilitate that. Or just go on a cruise…it’s up to you!
- Change the pace. Instead of feeling like you have to do everything better than everyone else and out do yourself every year, do the things that bring you joy and peace. Take time to read a book, take a nap, a walk in nature, or lunch with a good friend. Or just take the time to do nothing!
- Accept what you cannot change. You can’t control other people. You can only control how you respond to situations! We all have our agency. You can’t stop Aunt Gertrude from starting a heated political debate during dinner, but you can try to change the subject or you can refrain from participating!
- Maintain a sense of humor. If something isn’t going your way, laugh about it. Find the humor in it. Laughing will help relieve your stress. Anxiety and worry never help anyway.
- Don’t say YES to everything. The holidays are always busy but they don’t have to take over our lives. Don’t commit to things that won’t bring you joy and peace. Evaluate each invitation and politely decline if you need to. The world won’t end if you don’t make it to every party.
- Organize, plan and prepare. Planning ensures that you won’t miss important things that could make or break your holiday! Make a list of things that need to be done and stick to it. Organize your list according to priority and don’t be afraid to cross some things off the list if you can’t get them done.
- Leave time for the unexpected. Everything is not always going to go your way. We can’t control anything but ourselves, and sometimes we can’t even control ourselves! Sickness happens a lot during the colder months and it can definitely slow us down! Give yourself time to relax and expect the unexpected!
Finally, remember this as the holidays begin!
Attitude can turn an ordeal into an adventure!