Jumat, 19 Februari 2016

The holiday season is upon us. Houses are being decorated with glowing lights and sparkling ornaments. Neighbors are dropping off Christmas cookies shaped like stockings and snowmen. Invitations for holiday parties are coming in.

December is a lovely time of year, but its also very busy and sometimes stressful, and as the party invitations pile up and your gift list gets longer and longer, its easy to stop enjoying the beauty of the season. If you let yourself get too stressed out, it can completely ruin the holidays. One stressful situation too many, and suddenly instead of laughing with friends and family around the fire, youre curled up alone  in the fetal position on a pile of crinkled wrapping paper gorging yourself on Nanas rum cake.

Dont let a busy holiday season ruin your holidays. Here are five ways to avoid (or perhaps deal with) holiday stress:

Plan Out Your Month & Dont Deviate
This month, I printed out a December calendar (I do have calendar apps, but I remember things better when I actually write them down). I filled it in with parties, date nights, school tests, work deadlines, ect. This way I dont forget anything, and I can see how far in advance I need to bake treats, wrap presents, or complete assignments. Ill keep this calendar with me and add things when needed. Keeping a calendar prevents me from forgetting things and having to rush last minute to finish an important project. If its not on the calendar, I wont do it. As much as I love girls nights or spontaneous movies, they can set me back when I know I should be home wrapping gifts or studying for finals.

Keep Things Simple
Simplify as much as you can. Try spending more nights with your loved ones. Instead of doing a huge family outing, you can spend a night in playing games or watching old home movies. Instead of doing extravagant neighbor gifts, pick something simple that you can make or put together with your family.

Sip Tea Before Bed
You need your rest to keep up with all the festivities of the season. To ensure you get a good rest, sip some caffeine-free herbal tea before bed. It only takes a few minutes to make and its incredibly relaxing. A good night of sleep does wonders for minimizing stress.

It may not directly reduce stress, but spending a couple hours with your family at the local food bank can  help put your priorities into perspective. It is a good reminder that rushing to keep up with the Jones will never bring you the happiness that serving others will.

Stay True to the Spirit of the Holidays
Whatever your religious views may be, there is one thing most people can agree on:  the holidays are better when they are spent with the ones you love. If youre stressed out, the people you care about arent going to want to spend as much time with you. So when you feel yourself getting stressed, remember that above all else, your family takes priority. My ultimate tip for avoiding holiday stress is making your traditions less about rushing, running errands, and giving the newest and best gifts and more about expressing love for those around you. Focus on your family, focus on your friends, not what you can buy them or what they can buy you. Focus on helping others feel happy and accepted. Its hard to feel stressed when you are surrounded by love.

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