5 Tips to Help Lessen Holiday Stress
Thanksgiving came and went, and now we’re heading straight into that crazy-making month: December. No matter which holidays you celebrate, the pressure is on. We have some suggestions to help you manage this season and hopefully make it cheery and bright.
- Cut back. Will the holiday be miserable if you don’t serve an 8-course dinner? What if the adults in your family draw names and just buy one gift, rather than gifts for everyone? Instead of decorating the house until it’s something Clark Griswold would envy, go low-key: a smaller tree, lights just around the front door rather than across the whole exterior of the house. Do you have someone in your life telling you that “everyone” must attend certain events? Let them go on your behalf.
- Make sure everyone gets some “me” time. Mom, Dad, kids—everyone needs a bit of down time. Instead of saying yes to every holiday invitation that comes along, set a maximum—no more than one event per weekend. Then carve out time for everyone to relax.
- Ask for help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Ask your spouse, your parents, your kids as they get old enough to pitch in. Holiday gifts don’t have to be perfectly wrapped; let your kids help, even if it’s messy. Your parents might be more than willing to take on side dishes for the holiday meal. And when dinner is over, everyone needs to help clean up. It’ll go much faster, be less stressful—and it might even be fun.
- Let go of the idea that things must be perfect. Every smiling family on holiday commercials on TV seem to say: “Be perfect!” But in the end, people aren’t going to remember if your house was spotless or your table perfectly set. They’re going to remember laughter, togetherness and joy. No amount of dust bunnies can disrupt that.
- Take shortcuts. You’ve got the next 11 months out of the year to put homemade meals on the table, show up for every piano lesson, or make homemade outfits for the kids to wear in holiday photos. In December? Order outfits online, cancel a few piano lessons (your piano teacher will likely thank you), and don’t hesitate to bring home the family’s favorite Deli Express sandwiches for dinner. Put some carrots and dip on the side, and you’re good to go.