Most people experience stress during the holidays due to a lack of planning, poor time management, and financial worries. The holiday season does not have to be stressful or expensive. Follow these five strategies to reduce holiday stress:
- Plan and manage your time.
- Make preparations early.
- Think outside the box.
- Set a budget.
- Shop Online.
Plan and Manage Your Time:
Time to pull out the calendar and To-Do List. Make note of important dates and times such as picking up grandma from the airport, the company Christmas party, and/or your child’s school holiday program or class potluck. Set aside specific day(s) and times for shopping, cleaning, decorating, gift wrapping, and meal preparation. Add personal time for reading, relaxing, and/or self pampering for each day on your calendar. DO NOT under any circumstances skip personal time. One of the most important aspects of time management is making time for yourself!
Make Preparations Early:
If heavy cooking and entertaining is part of your holiday tradition prepare now. Write out your menu for your holiday feast and all meals proceeding the festivities. Make your grocery shopping list and stock the shelves, refrigerator, and freezer with everything you’ll need. (Blow the dust off your crockpot it will save you time and come in handy in preparing meals before the holiday).
If you have family traveling to spend the holidays with you, prepare the guestroom now. Get your house in order now, do not wait until the day before they arrive. If you start now you’ll discover all the quirks that need to be fixed like the loose doorknob, the protruding spring in the mattress, or cob webs and dust on the lamps (lol). Call in Molly Maids or pull out the duster, broom, mop, and gloves.
Think Outside the Box:
Don’t let money stress you out this holiday season. Gifts from the heart are priceless. Expensive gifts and material things are nice but thats not what gift giving is all about. Your time, energy, resources, knowledge, skills, and/or talents make wonderful gifts. You may not necessarily be able to wrap them in a box with a bow but you can certainly come up with creative innovative ways to present your time, energy, resources, knowledge, skills, and/or talents as gifts.
Set a Budget:
Determine how much you can afford to spend without going into the new year with debt from the holiday. Divide that number by the number of people on your shopping list. This is the amount of money your budget allows per person. As tempting as it may be to over spend or add people to your list that you may have over looked…the best gift you can give to yourself is to resist the urge and stick to your budget and original list. Buy a box of holiday cards and use those for the people that didn’t make the list this year (at least they’ll know you thought of them…its the thought that counts smile).
Going to the mall and department stores during the holidays is stressful. Fighting traffic, finding a park, wrangling the crowds, and standing in long lines is exhausting. Avoid the hassles! Save time, money, and gas by shopping online. Many websites offer free and/or discounted shipping for the holidays. Now is the time to shop online so that your gifts arrive in time.