Part 1 of the Holiday Stress Series

It’s that time of year again. The holiday season is fast approaching, and while it can be one of the most wonderful times of the year, as the song goes, it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year.

Holiday stress can come from many areas in your life including family and relationships, travel, shopping and money issues, and a general feeling that there’s not enough time to get everything done that needs doing before the big day.

Over the next few weeks we’ll take a look at all of these issues in more detail, but to kick off this series, here are seven tips you can use to save your sanity and keep holiday stress at bay.

1. Go with the flow

Even the most detailed plans can be subjected to changes that are out of your control. If you can go with the flow and be open to changes you’ll be less inclined to feel stressed when everything doesn’t go according to plan.

2. Don’t lose your temper

It’s pretty much inevitable when you’re in a large group of people that there will be disagreements. Don’t get sucked in to arguments between your relatives and you’ll find that family get-togethers are much more enjoyable.

3. Ask for help

Having too much to do is a given over the holiday season. From baking to shopping to planning parties and decorating, it can all be pretty overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks to other family members.

4. Learn to say no

Don’t feel that you have to be all things to all people. There will always be one more thing to do and one more event to attend if you don’t keep an eye on the calendar. Learning to say no and mean it will not only lessen your stress, it may just be the catalyst for getting help with all the other holiday tasks that need to be done!

5. Shop early

Getting your Christmas shopping done early is one of the best ways to relieve holiday stress. You won’t have to deal with the crowds of last minute shoppers or worry that the perfect gift is out of stock when you get to the store.

6. Take care of yourself

Yes, you are supposed to think of other people during the holiday season, but you won’t be much use to them if you don’t think of yourself too. A few minutes to yourself each day can do wonders for your holiday stress, as can eating right, keeping up with your fitness routine, and getting enough sleep.

7. Make your own traditions

It’s lovely to have family traditions for the holidays. In fact, some would say it’s the traditions that make the holidays. When you’re the one charged with making sure all the traditions are followed, it’s also a huge source of stress.

Ask yourself if you really need all these traditions. Before you completely discard the suggestion, hear me out:

Families change. Situations change. Some of the traditions that you follow may not really fit your lifestyle or your family today. Sure it’s nice to always cook a full dinner, or start baking holiday cookies the day after Halloween just like your mother did. But sometimes the stress and tension it causes just isn’t worth your health and well-being.

If you find the old traditions stressing you out too much, why not consider making new traditions that fit your family better and allow you to take part in the festivities rather than staying in the kitchen to make sure everything looks just the way it did when you were young.

When it comes right down to it, the holiday season is meant to be a happy time to share with family and friends. Put these tips to work for you when holiday stress comes knocking, so that you can send it on its way and get back to enjoying the season as you are meant to!

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