It’s that time of year for parties, family gatherings, decorating, gift buying and more. The holidays can be a joyful time, but they can also be hectic and stressful. Holiday spending can put a dent in your pocketbook, and there never seems to be enough time to get things done. We found some tips to help you survive the holidays.
Preparing for the holidays
- Know your spending limit. Not having enough money for holiday gifts is one of the biggest causes of stress. If you haven’t already, try to set a budget so that you don’t spend more than planned. And, it’s okay to tell your kids that you can’t get that toy because it costs too much. You don’t want to buy gifts that you’ll spend the rest of the year paying off.
- Give something personal. A gift doesn’t have to cost a lot to be meaningful. Create a hand-made gift (find ideas on Pinterest), make a phone call or write a personal note.
- Get organized. Make lists or use an appointment book to keep track of tasks to do and events to attend.
- Share the tasks. You don’t have to be the Lone Ranger. Share your “to do” list with others. Spend time with family and friends while you share tasks like decorating, gift wrapping or preparing holiday meals.
- Learn to say no. Practice saying “no.” You don’t have to attend events that aren’t important to you. This will give you more time to say “yes” to the ones you want to attend.
- Be realistic. No one is perfect; neither is the perfect holiday so don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Focus instead on the traditions that make holidays special for you. And remember that just because it’s a holiday, family problems don’t go away. If you have a hard time being around your relatives, it’s okay to set limits on your time at events and visits.
During the holidays
You can’t always avoid stressful situations during the holidays, but you can respond to them in a healthier way so make a plan.
- Take breaks from group activities. There’s nothing wrong with paying attention to your own needs and feelings. Take some time for yourself by meditating or do some breathing relaxation techniques. Take a short walk. Do whatever necessary to help unplug and keep yourself balanced.
- Keep a regular sleep, meal, and exercise schedule. Limit your alcohol. It’s easy to indulge over the holidays and forget your daily exercise routines. By taking care of yourself, you can handle stressful situations during the holidays much better.
- Get support if you need it. The holidays aren’t always jolly for some. They can trigger depression and are especially difficult for those dealing with the death of a loved one or the breakup of a relationship. Often times people are too embarrassed to ask for help or think they can get over “the blues” on their own. Talk with your doctor about counseling and medicine for depression.