With the holiday season already well underway, you’re probably already feeling the holiday stress. Maybe you’ve already blown your holiday budget – or maybe you’re still stressing over all the gifts you still have to buy. And then, of course, there’s the cost and preparation of holiday dinners to worry about.
Relax. The holidays don’t have to be a time to dread. Below are some strategies to make them more enjoyable:
1.Acknowledge your feelings.
If you find yourself hyperventilating at the mere thought of the holidays, take some time to figure out why.
If you’re worried about money, set a budget to figure out exactly how much you can afford to spend — and don’t feel bad if you can’t buy the most expensive gifts for everyone on your list. If it’s the mere pressure of entertaining that’s got you down, consider asking someone else to host Christmas dinner – or simplify it by making it a potluck.
3. Don’t be afraid to create new traditions.
Sometimes we get so caught up with how the holidays “should”? play out that we put undue pressure on ourselves. Just because you used to buy a gift for every single member of your family doesn’t mean you always have to do that. As families age and expand, it’s not always necessary to continue the same old traditions. Consider gift exchanges or a group donation to a mutually-decided upon charity.
4. Talk it out.
Remember – if the holidays are stressful for you, they’re probably stressful for others as well. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings and discuss ways to alleviate stress.