Hello, my festive friends! I hope you all have been having a wonderful Thursday. My morning began by snuggling under my heated blanket with a cup of coffee and Cupcake Wars…. Thus resulting in me diddly daddling a tad too long and having to rush to get my workout in before work. (which I did… despite the snow and freezing temps… wtf). But we got it done fam. We got it done.
The holidays are known as “the most wonderful time of the year” (as I have mentioned several times since starting Blogmas). But, despite all the positives associated with the holidays- sparkling lights, seeing family and friends, and baking holiday treats… for some of us, the holidays can be particularly stressful.
What do I mean? There are a lot of factors that can contribute to making the holidays feel particularly stressful. Such as:
- $$. Finances. Not only do we still have bills to pay but now, on top of that, we also have gifts to buy and ingredients to buy for those special holiday feasts. We may feel pressured to buy expensive gifts that we can’t afford and to shop outside our means. We may use credit cards to buy presents and then have to worry about paying those bills later on.
- Crowds. No matter what you are doing or where you’re going- there are always people hustling and bustling around. It takes extra time to get to and from the typical places- grocery store, work, you name it. I strongly dislike crowds so this can be particularly stressful for me. All because of the Christmas shopping we put off until the last minute, year after year. Not to mention, some people are just not friendly this time of year… they can run into you, slam the door on you without even muttering an apology. How rude! Be polite, people. Please, I beg you.
- Family/ In laws. Yes, seeing your family that you don’t see often is one of the best parts of the holidays. But it certainly can cause some added stress. You may feel pressure to show these family members “the perfect holiday” or there may be those family members that no matter what, they just don’t get along. We all know how family can be… Need I say more?
- Weather/Travel/Snow. Whether you are flying or driving for holiday travel, both have circumstances associated with them that could cause you to feel stressed out. The snow can cause delays, poor traveling conditions, accidents… you name it. Add to the already increased amount of traffic on the roads and bam, more stress.
- A Hectic Schedule. This one I can definitely relate to. Working two jobs is hectic enough- add to that last minute Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, getting ready for family to visit, all on top of the normal everyday tasks- it may seem like there is not enough time in the day. You may feel like there is never enough time to get everything done. So much to do… so little time.
- Diet. If you are into health and wellness, you may have specific nutritional goals you are working towards. The holidays don’t necessarily always align with those goals. Holiday parties with lots of goodies, cookie exchanges, and holiday treats everywhere you go, can make it difficult to stay on track. I’m not going to go too in-depth on this topic in this post, because I did another post about Holiday Food Anxiety a few posts back… If you haven’t read it already, be sure to go check it out here.
So now you may be like “well, thanks Lauren, reading those stressors made me feel stressed about stress I wasn’t even stressed about yet” LOL. Sorry. Well luckily, I have come up with some TIPS that may help you combat that ugly holiday stress.
- $$ Spending Limit. Set a budget for the holiday festivities. Stick to that number. Don’t buy gifts you can’t afford. It’s not worth it to be stressed about not knowing how you are going to pay your bills… All because you surpassed the holiday shopping budget you set for yourself. Christmas isn’t about the presents. You can get great, sentimental gifts that won’t break the bank. Go to Blogmas Day 3 for how to budget during the holidays and Blogmas Day 7 for great, relatively, inexpensive gift ideas.
- Share Holiday Tasks. Don’t overload yourself with so many to-dos that you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Divvy up tasks and share the work load. You can give your boyfriend a list of items to pick up at the grocery store. Instead of making the entire holiday meal yourself, have everyone bring a dish and/or dessert. Have another person bring the alcoholic beverages. Divvy up the responsibilities. Take turns wrapping presents and divide and conquer the holiday tasks. Relinquish control to those you trust and take some of the pressure off yourself. Chances are other people will enjoy helping out and you’ll be less stressed in the process.
- Learn to Say No. The holidays always have so much going on. Work Christmas party one day, another Christmas party the next, secret Santa, cookie exchange… so much going on. While they may be fun and festive events, it can be a lot to handle. Instead of overwhelming yourself and your calendar, be selective of your time and energy. If you don’t want to do something, say no. If you are busy or have other plans, it is okay to say “no, I’m sorry, I can’t make it.” Other people will understand how busy you are… it is the holidays after all. So, be selective with how you spend your time and energy this holiday season.
- Take Time for Yourself. It easy to be so focused on other people that we forget to focus on the most important person… Ourselves. Take time to do things that make you happy and feel good. Whether that’s taking a bubble bath, reading a good book, or going to the gym and getting a workout in… Make yourself a priority. If you are happy, destressed and feel good- then that will carry over to other areas of your life and the people around you. They will appreciate the positive energy much more than if you’re acting like the Grinch because you are so stressed out.
- Don’t Expect Perfection. There is no such thing as perfect… cliché yet true. There’s no such thing as the perfect gift, perfect holiday meal, or perfect holiday. Don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. Don’t run yourself ragged chasing this image of perfect that doesn’t exist. There will always be variables outside of your control. The holidays are a magical time- it’s the magic in everyone’s holiday spirit and laughter that make the holidays memorable… not because everything is “perfect” or goes 100% as planned.
- Ask Yourself… “Can I Control This?” Can you? Can you control the weather? The crowds? The person in line who keeps bumping into you without apologizing? Nope, you can’t. So if you can’t control something, it is useless to let those factors affect your attitude. What can you control? You can control your attitude and your outlook on the situation. Choose to see the holidays as a magical time that should be enjoyed because it only comes around once a year.
I hope these tips on how to destress during the holiday season are relatable and prove to be helpful to you when you find yourself stressed out in the next few weeks. STRESS MANAGEMENT IS CRUCIAL FOR LIVING A HAPPY AND HEALTHY LIFE EVERYDAY… NOT JUST DURING THE HOLIDAYS.
What’s that saying…? “I’m too blessed to be stressed?”
What tips do you have for managing stress every day and during the holidays? What is your favorite way to destress?
Thanks so much for following along with the 25 Days of Blogmas. Don’t forget about the HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY– so be sure you’re subscribed and liking and sharing posts that you find enjoyable and helpful. Here’s hoping you all had a stress free day and if you didn’t, I hope you go do something now that will help you relax and destress.
Happy Holidays, XO