The tree is lit, the stockings are hung, and the Christmas festivities have begun. What should be a time of joy and laughter, can somtimes feel like chaos and looming disaster. There is shopping to be done, gifts to be wrapped, a long list of chores that seem never ending, and a family feast to prepare for. As the holidays are quickly approaching the stress begins to build, and the joy that Christmas sparks are beginning to burn out. But, there are many ways to manage the stress that the holidays bring.
During the holiday season, it often feels like there isn't enough time in the day to get everything done. We are all guilty of exerting ourselves, rushing to complete errands like shoping and wrapping gifts until midnight on Christmas Eve.
Planning ahead and creating a tentative
schedule is one way to avoid the stress that the holidays bring. Set goals and deadlines for yourself like wrapping five presents a day, and plan to have all of your shopping done by a set date. This will ensure that you avoid rushing around at the last minute, worrying that there won't be enough time to get everything done.
Along with developing goals and deadlines, it may also be helpful to create a family holiday calendar with all of the upcoming events and festivities. Creating a shared calendar will ensure that everyone is on the same page giving them ample time to prepare, preventing people from forgetting, and avoiding last-minute stress. This calendar can also include the goals and deadlines you have set, so everything is all in one place and everyone knows what needs to be done to prepare for the holidays.
While planning ahead is one way to reduce stress during the holidays, you may still feel overwhelmed. Planning for the holidays is a lot to take on by yourself, remember that it is okay to reach out and ask for help. After all, helping others and spending time with loved ones is what the holidays are all about. Preparing for the holidays with the help of friends and family will remove some of the weight from your shoulders, and may even help you to relax. Completing tasks like cooking, cleaning, and wrapping gifts are much more fun when you have someone to laugh along with. Accept a helping hand and use it as an opportunity to spend time with loved ones and make lasting memories.
During the Christmas season, another major contributor to the stress that we face is our own expectations. It can be easy to develop unrealistic expectations when all you see on social media are perfect homes with extravagant decorations. But, remember that social media is a fantasy, and people only share what they want you to see. Your home is not a Hallmark movie. This is reality, so make sure that the standards you are setting are realistic. you don't need a serene house or decedent tree to have a good Christmas.
Worrying about the opinions of others is another headache we face during the holidays. Remember that no one expects your home to be perfect, and the judgement that you fear stems from your own mind. If you feel like no matter how much planning and preparation is done nothing is ever good enough, take a step back and remember the true meaning of Christmas. Your home does not need to be spotless, no one is expecting a gourmet feast, your loved ones will appreciate the efforts that you have taken, and do not expect perfection.
While preparing for the holidays is important, during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it is also very important to take care of yourself. Make sure that you are setting aside time to relax and enjoy the holidays. It can be easy to get wrapped up in worrying about everything that needs to be done and forget the joys of Christmas. Grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate, light up the tree, and put on a Christmas movie to enjoy with the family. Take a deep breath and remember that presents under the tree and a decadent feast are not what Christmas is about. Christmas is a time of joy that we share with loved ones we hold near and dear.
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