While on a walk today, I thought about the approaching holiday season, and how it can be really stressful. Not only are there financial challenges, but there are expectations that you may feel pressed to meet. Those expectations can be material and/or social. Either way, they take up a lot of mental bandwidth! To ease some of that pressure, I am sharing ways that I navigate the holidays and beat the related stress of the season.
5 Tips for Navigating & Beating Holiday Season Stress
- Talk to children and family members about what you can budget for the holidays. When I was young, there was an expectation in the family for adults to buy every child in the family a gift, but as we grew older, we had our name drawn out of the family bowl. Being open about your ability to contribute to gifts can be helpful and create less stress after the initiation of conversation. I know I always get nervous about bringing up some subjects! This year, I have already talked to my daughters about the budget and what they can expect. Of course, they are older, but I think they like being included in the conversation around the family budget.
- Consider celebrating the holiday on a day other than on the actual holiday. This is one of my favorites! Actual holidays can be busy. You may even have to work. Celebrating (other than religious observances) on an alternate day reduces stress on the actual holiday and gives you more options in how you celebrate as stores and other businesses will be open.
- Keep working out. I struggle with this one, admittedly. When my schedule fills, I often sacrifice exercise. However, it is necessary to keep up with your routine (or start a new one!) so that you can easily prevent holiday weight gain, while also improving sleep and mental health.
- Take time to meditate and/or journal when starting or ending your day. I find it helpful to use a guided meditation, and I have started blogging as a way of journaling. Not only does it help with self-discovery, but it also gives you an outlet for emotions that can heighten during the holiday season.
- Improve your nutrition by sticking to whole foods and indulging in deserts occasionally. This has really been beneficial for me, and I think of the holiday season as a time to nourish yourself well in preparation for holiday activities and upcoming new year.
Self-Care is a Gift You Give Yourself
I truly believe that self-care is a gift you give yourself in recognition of your appreciation for life. When the holidays seem to take the joy out of festivities, filling your cup with whatever it takes to bring you back to fullness, is a way to honor the season and yourself. So, take some time for yourself this holiday season; you deserve it!