Holidays can be stressful at times. Winter holidays can be even more stressful, between Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas, there just isn’t time to rest before you’re up and moving and needing to get things done again. But the thing is, there are ways to make the holidays less stressful. You just have to want it, you have to change your previous behaviors, and you have to stick to your guns no matter how much guilt you get for not doing the same thing you’ve always done. Sometimes change is good. Sometimes it’s the thing that saves you.
Here are just three ways you can reduce your stress this holiday season.
Clock In, Clock Out
As parents, sometimes we take the simplest things and make them difficult. Example #1, spending all day making the holiday season wonderful for our kids and then staying up all night wrapping, stressing, and planning. In the end this ends up with a completely unhappy family. You’re grumpy from lack of sleep and getting snappy, and your kids can tell you’re stressed which in turn stresses them out. Nobody enjoys that. Instead of this scenario, keep to your regular schedule as much as possible. Make time for wrapping, shopping, and planning at times that are convenient for you. And if you can let a couple of things slide off of your plate and onto your spouse’s or kid’s, let it happen. Delegate and then get some sleep.
Dreams versus Reality
We’ve all had that Miracle on 34th Street dream of a perfect Christmas where you get a whole family and find out Santa Claus is real. Okay, maybe we all haven’t. The point is that there is reality and there are dreams. As long as you’re not thinking your Christmas is going to look like some postcard from the 40s in Sepia tones, you can make it happen. If your dream is to have all hand-made decorations on your tree, or you want a Harry Potter Christmas, or you just want your kids to be happy the whole time, you can make that happen. Just figure out what you want and go for it.
Shop It Out
You’re stressed about budget. You’re stressed about not getting everything done on time. You’re stressed you didn’t get that Tickle Me Elmo when it was out and your kid still won’t let you live it down 15 years later. But today you don’t have to get to every store to get your shopping done. You can shop online and things will show up at your house in brown boxes that your kid won’t be able to see through. This is good for you, good for staying on schedule, and great for everyone else in the house.
Whether you’ve decided to reduce your holiday stress because you physically can’t handle it, or because you just want to have a more enjoyable holiday for you and your family, you can have the holiday you’ve dreamed about. You just have to commit to doing it. Commit to putting yourself and your family first. Commit to it, and don’t let anyone change your mind. Decide. And move on.
Once you’ve fully committed to the holiday you want, relax and enjoy it. Spend time loving your family and stay present in that moment. Hang on to it because there are only so many of those beautiful moments. Cherish them.