Are you already sick of all the Christmas commercials on TV? Have you heard “Frosty the Snowman” more times than you can count? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.
While most people enjoy the holidays and embrace it as a time to spend with family and friends, sometimes it just becomes too overwhelming and too chaotic to deal with. If you’re already over the holidays, the following six tips will help you survive the holidays without turning into Mr. Scrooge.
1. Shop early.
It seems as if every year stores are starting their Black Friday sales earlier and earlier, and this year, they’re starting their sales on Thanksgiving. That’s right. Instead of allowing their employees to spend time with their family and friends, they now have to work. What’s worse is that there are actually consumers out there who are going to ditch their Thanksgiving meals in order to wait in line for a cheap toaster or whatever it is they want.
In order to survive the holidays, it’s a good idea for you to get all your holiday shopping early. Don’t go out in the middle of the night to snag some deal you’re not even sure will still be there. So you may end up spending a few extra dollars on a gift, but those few extra dollars are worth your sanity.
Also, it’s this time that you should introduce yourself to online shopping. Many retailers offer special online deals that you can snag at any time, not just on some made up holiday. Snuggle up on your couch with your laptop or mobile device, and let the delivery driver bring everything you want directly to your door. Now when everyone’s freaking out about shopping, you can sit back and relax.
2. Start a fitness routine.
Yes the holidays can be stressful, and a great way to combat the holiday stress is to start a fitness routine. Exercising regularly will allow you to blow off steam that may be caused by your boss, your family or even the general public. Plus, you’ll end up having more energy and feeling better about yourself when you work out regularly, which can help to put you in a better mood during the holidays. You can opt to find a gym or fitness class that interests you, or simply start your own fitness routine at home. Any type of exercise will help you combat the holiday stress.
3. Lower your expectations.
If there are certain family members in your life that bother you, it can ruin your holidays. Maybe you don’t like how intrusive your mother in law is, or maybe your brother is always trying to one up everyone during conversations. No matter the reason for your disdain, you’ll make it through the holidays if you learn to lower your expectations. Instead of hoping that your mother in law or brother have changed, realize that they’re going to annoy you. If you’re prepared for the worse, you won’t stress out about it as much. Plus, if they do change, you’ll end up being pleasantly surprised.
4. Ask for help.
Most often the stress we feel during the holidays comes from taking on too many responsibilities. Instead of trying to do everything, ask for help. Ask your spouse to wrap presents while you make dinner. Ask your sister to bring an appetizer so you’re not cooking everything yourself, and ask friends or family members to help with decorations or whatever you need accomplished. It’s okay to ask for help, and when you’re not doing everything yourself, you’ll end up having a better time.
5. Don’t be afraid to say no.
Along with asking for help, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to say no. If you’re invited to multiple parties on the same day, don’t feel bad for turning one or two of them down. If you try to bounce from party to party, you will end up stressing yourself out. Pick and choose what you want to do, apologize for those events you can’t attend, and you’ll be much less stressed in the long run.
6. Have a “do nothing” day.
During the holidays, it seems as if there’s always something to do. Constantly moving, entertaining, shopping and decorating can take a lot out of you. The best way to alleviate the stress is to have a “do nothing” day. Pick a day around the holidays where you and your family will do absolutely nothing. You will not shop. You will not decorate. You will not go to parties. You will simply sit at home and do whatever it is you find relaxing. This will allow you to unwind and take your mind off the holiday stress.
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Terri Walker is a freelance writer, a podcast enthusiast and a busy wife and mother. Rather than listening to talk-radio, Terri loads her mobile devices with her favorite podcasts for convenient listening while on the go.
- Save Energy and Resources This Holiday Season (blogs.cdc.gov)
- Stress the cause of five million days off work (telegraph.co.uk)
- Gadget-obsessed Britons are more stressed than ever because they just can’t switch off (dailymail.co.uk)