The holiday season is almost upon us. Whilst this can be a very exciting and magical time of the year, for many, the mere thought of Christmas leads to anxiety and stress. As soon as the supermarkets start playing jingle bells on repeat, the excitement mounts but so too does the pressure.
So, is it possible to get through the silly season without becoming a complete and utter mess? We think so.
Here are our top 7 tips for making it through the festivities and coming out the other side (relatively) unscathed:
1. Manage your budget
Christmas can be an incredibly expensive time of the year. Overspending can bring unnecessary financial stress, so set a realistic budget that you can stick to.
When it comes to buying gifts, You’ll find it is much easier to stay on budget if you’re organised. Write a list before visiting the shops. This will help avoid impulse buys which almost always lead to overspending. You might also consider a Kris Kringle arrangement amongst adult members of your family, with a maximum spend that suits your budget.
Don’t forget to set a budget for family functions as well. Try not to over-cater and remember you don’t always have to be a traditionalist. If turkey is outside your budget, that’s ok, be creative!
2. Prioritise ‘me’ time
Over the holidays we tend to spend more time socialising with family and friends. Enjoy being social, but don’t forget about much needed ‘me’ time. Something as simple as going for a walk can be just enough to ensure you’re taking time out for you.
Don’t be afraid to enrol the kids in a holiday program or arrange a play date or two over the school break so you can really concentrate on yourself!
3. Stick to your routine
Life can get so busy over the holiday period that your usual routine can suffer, a lot. Try to prioritise the important things, like your daily exercise or weekly book club. Don’t feel you have to accept every invitation you receive or say yes to every request. Know when to say no.
There is only so much you can commit to and knocking a few events or requests for freshly baked cookies off the list in favour of the things that are really important to you, is ok.
Maintaining everyday routine over the holiday period can help keep you calm and relieve stress during those busy times.
4. Plan, plan, plan!
It can be tricky when kids have more than one family to spend time with over the holidays. Make sure you plan well in advance so the kids know who they are spending each significant day with. Try alternating each year so that no one misses out. Planning is key. Everyone will be much happier and more calm when they know there’s a plan!
5. Relieve the pressure- ask for help
If you’ve volunteered to host Christmas Day, that doesn’t mean you have to do it all. Share the work-load by asking each adult to bring a dish. People enjoy contributing and you will end up with a lot less pressure, and a wonderful communal meal.
6. Pick your battles
The holiday season can put a lot of strain on relationships. You’re likely to be spending more time with family members than you would ordinarily, and they’re probably going to get on your nerves. So, pick your battles.
Don’t get caught up in pointless disagreements about things that don’t really matter. If you need to, remove yourself from the table, take a deep breath and move on.
7. Don’t forget to have fun
The holiday season can be fun, you just need to remember to do what feels right for you. The truth is, you can’t do everything. So, take the pressure off yourself and enjoy.