Tips To Stress-Less In The Holiday Season

by Elizabeth Smith

The holiday season can be a whirlwind of chaos, panic buying and a whole lot of stress. I love celebrations and festivities as much as the next person, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel a slight weight lifted off my shoulders once it’s all over. Despite all the lovely memories, quality family time and joy, the holiday season can leave you feeling rather burnt-out. Your social battery has to last a lifetime, your to-do list is never-ending, and online shopping starts to feel like a chore. Although I sound like a total negative Nancy – there are ways to deal with all the mayhem that the holidays bring! From indulging in a hot choc or watching your favourite festive movie, there are tonnes of rituals to help you stress-less in the holiday season.

Avoid striving for perfection

We want the holiday season to be perfect – and that’s okay! But the truth is that it’s unrealistic for everything to go exactly to plan (and what’s the fun in that anyway?!) Once you stop striving for perfection, things will start to feel easier and less stressful. If you feel like using birthday-themed wrapping up paper for your presents – do it. Feel like scrapping the shiny bows and ribbons? Why not! The likelihood is that no one will notice, and you’ll have more time to enjoy the festivities. Instead, use the time you’ve gained to spend doing your favourite holiday traditions. Whether that’s cosying up on the sofa with a tub of chocolate or playing a board game with your family, you’ll be thankful for giving yourself a break!

Carve out time for yourself

Over the holiday season, it is rare to have much time to ourselves. While it’s amazing to be able to catch up with friends and family, it is important that we don’t over-do it and run out of energy to socialise. To avoid this feeling, make sure you continue your everyday rituals. Perhaps that’s having a cup of tea by yourself in the morning or reading a book before bed, it will help you to maintain a sense of structure in a hectic time.

It is easy to think about everyone else around you during the holiday period. Gift buying, food shopping and decorating are only a fraction of the things that need to be done. This is why practising mindfulness is more important than ever. This doesn’t mean that you have to carve out huge chunks of time to meditate or do yoga – you just have to find time for some peace and quiet. You could take some time to write in a journal, go on a walk or soak in a bubble bath, whatever it is, it’ll give you some well-deserved space.

Cut down your to-do list

Sometimes, we are a little too giving. Why not try cutting down your Christmas card and gift list? The quote “giving for giving’s sake” is highly appropriate for the holiday season! We can think that we have to get everyone a gift or we’re a bad person. But it is just as easy to make a mutual agreement to not bother this year! That way, you can give extra special and thoughtful gifts to those you are really close to. Another option is to organise a Secret Santa. This is where you get a group of people together (or on a video call), pick a name out of a hat and buy only for that person you have chosen. As a result, you get to carefully consider what to buy (or make) for them that they will truly appreciate. Plus, it saves breaking the bank too!

Enjoy it as much as you can!

Although the holidays are going to be a little different this year, there are still so many things to be grateful for. We are still able to participate in all the traditions we love, just with a little twist! We can still go on a treasure hunt for all the decorations and ornaments that have been cooped up in the attic for a year. The tree can still be put up and decorated beautifully. There’s time to indulge in our favourite foods. We can still blast the festive music on and sing along! There’s no doubt that this year has been difficult for many, but there are opportunities over the holiday season to be happy and to appreciate the things around you.

The holiday season should be a joy, not a chore! So, try to implement these rituals over the festive period to avoid the stress. Take the season to relax, unwind and maybe even make some brand new traditions. Happy holidays!

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