During the holidays, we often feel extra pressure to look and be at our best. Add in the stress of shopping, cooking, and entertaining. It's no wonder many of us end up feeling frazzled by the end of December.
Here are 9 tips to help reduce stress and keep you feeling calm from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve.
Nine Ways To Reduce Stress During The Holidays
1. Start early to avoid the last-minute rush
The holidays are here—with them comes the stress of shopping for and finding the perfect gifts. It’s the kind of stress that can make you dream that you showed up for a big party but forgot to wear pants.
So why not start your holiday shopping today? That way, you won’t have to worry about dealing with other shoppers and long lines later in December.
Plus, there are plenty of advantages to shopping early. By starting now, you can take time to compare prices online and find what each person on your list wants or needs.
With early shopping, you might even be able to snag some great deals. Take advantage of sales and specials,such as the 15% discount we offer for subscribing to text messages. Another way to score a discount is to take our skincare quiz.
Plus, shipping now eliminates those pesky expediting fees. After all, doesn’t FedEx have enough of your money?
The bonus? The peace of mind that comes with knowing that you won’t be one of those people rushing around at the last minute.
Instead, you can spend your time enjoying holiday movies and hot cocoa.
2. Set a budget & stick to it
The holiday season comes with plenty of stress and demands, from gift-buying to baking. Trying to stay within a budget can be difficult and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be.
To keep your holiday spending in check, set a budget.
Before you start browsing the stores or online catalogs, decide how much you are willing to spend. Then divide your budget across the people on your list.
For example––if your bestie enjoys nice trinkets, consider spending more on that gift. And spending a little less on someone else.
Discounts and sales will help you stick to your gift budget. Try looking for promotions that include a "gift with a purchase."
A free "gift with purchase" might be the perfect present for someone on your list. “Buy one, get one” promotions are also clever ways to get two gifts with one sale.
And if you can score a deal on a gift card, you can provide a way to upgrade a gift for someone on your list.
Sticking to a budget may take some extra effort, but it is well worth the effort when it comes time for payment. Your January self will thank you [cue image of reading your credit card statement next month].
3. Don't overcommit yourself
We all have obligations that demand our time, energy, and attention.
But it’s important to remember that you can’t be everywhere at once––nor should you want to be.
Sometimes it can be difficult to say 'no.' It can feel like you're disappointing those around you.
It’s okay to take a moment for yourself and turn down events or gatherings if they don't interest you.
Michelle Obama talks about putting on your oxygen mask first. This is a perfect example of when you should.
If you focus on your well-being first, then everyone - yourself included - reaps the rewards.
Taking a little breather can create space to pursue activities you're passionate about.Activities that provide meaningful and engaging experiences for those around you too.
So next time an invitation comes up and your gut is telling you to pass on the chance - go ahead and listen!
Channel your inner Nancy Regan and "just say no"––with love of course. You'll feel the pressure lifting and you’ll enjoy more freedom than ever before.
4. Go for a walk & move around
One way to combat the extra stress is to make sure you get enough exercise.
Carve out time for a break from all the hustle. Go for a run or take a yoga class.
Even a walk around the block can help clear your head and make you feel more relaxed. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy––just enough to make you feel energized and refreshed.
Exercise releases endorphins that can help reduce stress and increase your mood. Even if it’s only 15-20 minutes, make sure you’re taking time for yourself and your body.
So lace up your shoes and get moving - it may be the best gift you give yourself this holiday season!
5. Take some time for yourself
The hustle and bustle of the season can become overwhelming. It can leave you feeling drained and stressed out.
During the holidays, it's important to make time for yourself.
But, if you take the time to relax and recharge, you will reap the rewards all season long.
It could be something as simple as taking a walk, spending quiet time with a good book, or watching the snow fall.
Schedule some "me-time" every day so you can savor every moment of this joyful season.
Too often, we get so wrapped up in our plans and expectations that we forget to enjoy what is right around us. Friends, family, and beloved traditions all contribute to making the holidays feel special.
Letting go of any inner stress that might cloud your joy is much easier said than done sometimes. When we permit ourselves to slow down, life becomes much more pleasant.
Recharging throughout this festive period is key to being able to soak it in.
Small acts of self-care go a long way toward setting a peaceful tone during the holiday season.
6. Connect with friends and family
One of the best things you can do during this time is to reach out to your friends and family for support.
Don’t forget––They are going through the same thing. The holidays can be tough for everyone.
Talk to them about your feelings. Listen to their stories, and enjoy spending time together.
Knowing that you have a support system in place will make the holiday season a little bit easier.
So don't hesitate to reach out if you need help - your loved ones will be more than happy to offer their support
7. Be realistic with your expectations
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. But they can also be a time of stress and anxiety. Especially if you're not realistic about what you're expecting from yourself.
One way to combat the extra stress is to be realistic about what you can do during this busy season.
It's important to remember that the holidays are only one month out of the year.
You don't have to do everything all at once - in fact, it's better if you don't.
Spread out your holiday tasks over several weeks. And take some time for yourself between tasks. This will help reduce stress and allow you to enjoy the holidays.
Avoid putting pressure on yourself. Accept that things won't always go as expected, and enjoy spending time with your loved ones.
The most important thing is that you're together. Accept imperfection.
Remember––sometimes the best stories come out of unexpected situations.
8. Respond with kindness
Accepting imperfection is not the only thing you can do to reduce holiday stress.
Responding with kindness is another great way to make the season more enjoyable.
When someone cuts you off in traffic, or your aunt starts telling the same story for the third time, try responding with kindness.
It might not change the situation, but it will make you feel better.
Also, don't forget to be kind to yourself. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and taking time for activities that make you happy.
That will help you start the new year feeling rested and ready for 2023.
9. Keep things simple
The holidays can be a stressful time, but one way to reduce that stress is to keep things simple.
One way to keep things is by choosing easy recipes and a simple menu.
If you’re not used to cooking, this can be a great way to avoid feeling overwhelmed. There are plenty of easy recipes out there that will still make your holiday meal feel special.
And if you do have some more complicated recipes in mind, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s no shame in admitting that you need a little help during the holiday season. It can even be a fun way to spend time with your loved ones.
Another great way is to avoid going overboard with holiday decorations. While it’s nice to have a festive home during the holidays, it’s important not to get too carried away. A few well-placed decorations can make your home feel seasonal without being overwhelming.
Consider a gift exchange as a way to reduce the number of gifts you need to buy. This can not only save you time and money. Also, it can reduce the stress that comes from looking for the perfect gift.
There are many ways to do a gift exchange, so you can still have fun while keeping things simple. For example, you could draw names out of a hat or do a white elephant gift exchange. (Here are the rules, which no one ever remembers––so you can also make up your own as a new family tradition).
Whatever method you choose, a gift exchange can be a fun and easy way to simplify your holiday season.
Furthermore, keeping things simple allows you to focus on time with others. Whether you’re cooking a big dinner or hanging out at home, quality time with loved ones is what the holidays are about.
The Less Stressful Bottom Line
The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. By following these simple tips, you can take some of the stress out of your holidays and enjoy yourself more.
Remember to relax, recharge, and take care of yourself. Enjoy the special moments with your loved ones, and cherish every moment of this festive time.
You don't need to do everything or please everyone. Focus on what will make you the happiest, and chances are the holidays will be wonderful.
Happy Holidays and best wishes for a season filled with banana smiles.