I love Christmas as much as the next person, but that doesn’t make me immune to the holiday stress we all feel this time of year. Christmas is amazing and fun, but it’s also expensive and stressful and time-consuming. Am I right? This year I’m trying to battle that stress by entering the holidays in the right frame of mind. I’m sharing some tips today so you can do the same and reduce stress during the holidays.

reduce stress during the holidays

Start Early

Don’t let your stress result from the fact that it’s December 23rd and you haven’t finished (or started) your Christmas shopping. The shopping is something that can easily be done early, so get that out of the way first.

Create the Holiday You Want

If the holiday season is too stressful for you and you aren’t happy with the number of commitments you’ve got, change it. Craft the holiday that will make you happy. That might mean skipping the work holiday party or spending Christmas morning at home instead of traveling to see family.

Create a Plan for Gift-Giving

For many of us, the stress of the holidays comes from the amount of money we’re spending. Christmas gifts can be expensive, and most people tend to go overboard. This year make it easier for yourself by creating a firm budget for each person on your list, and then sticking to it. Chances are that gift you want to splurge on isn’t something they have to have.

Have Compassion

Holidays are probably stressful for you, but they’re stressful for those around you as well. Show compassion toward other individuals. Maybe the cashier rang up your order wrong at Target or a Christmas gift didn’t arrive on time. Remember that everyone has a lot going on this time of year and no one is intentionally trying to make your holiday season more difficult.

Learn to Say No

In a perfect world, we would be able to make it to every family Christmas and holiday party. But that’s just not realistic. Sometimes we have to turn people down. Feelings might be hurt, but you have to make your holiday work for you.

Plan For Some “Me” Time

Don’t plan to spend every waking moment with family, devoting all your time to the holiday celebrating. That’s going to be too much for anyone to handle. Instead, decide how much time you’ll spend at each event. And during the family holiday, feel free to take some me-time.

Take Care of Your Body

If you’re stressed because of the holiday, taking poor care of your body is just going to make it worse. While the holiday treats might be amazing, try to save them for special occasions and continue eating healthy on the other days. And as much shopping, wrapping and decorating as you’ve got to do, take some time to work out or go for a walk.

Practice Gratitude

I know I’m not the only one who gets caught up in the holiday spirit and fails to focus on what the holidays are really about. Be sure to practice some gratitude this holiday season. Be grateful you have a family to spend the holidays with, or the money to afford Christmas gifts. Just be grateful for those around and the happiness we all get from the season.

How do you reduce your stress during the holidays?

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