Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season

Christmas decorations are going up. Parties are being planned. The hustle & bustle of Christmas has begun. With a little planning & a positive attitude, holiday stress & depression can be minimized:

-          Get organized to minimize stress. Make a “to do” list. Write down important dates & events. Research mail/courier shipping deadlines. These tend to be sooner than expected. Have a plan

-          Figure out your budget - gift spending limit. Stick to it. Keep credit card spending to a minimal. Careful, those last minute stocking stuffers & credit card purchases can really add up.

-          Make a list of people to shop for. Brainstorm/write down possible gift ideas. Get started on your Christmas shopping now so you won’t be paniced later!  Focus on your list. Don’t get distracted by other bargains. Avoid impulse buying.

-          Put less stress on your funds; ask your family to draw names or agree to buy gifts for the kids only (fewer gifts to buy). Everyone is open to money saving ideas. Give homemade gifts, jams or baked treats. If making gifts, give yourself plenty of time, get started on them now.

-          Shop on-line, on weekdays & on fair weather days when possible. Start shopping early to avoid full parking lots & large crowds of shoppers. Avoid rush hour traffic.

-          Wear comfortable shoes when shopping. Eat at healthy food venues. Drink enough water, to stay hydrated. Don’t abandon your healthy habits. Get some exercise. Get enough rest. Wash your hands often. Take care of yourself. If you get physically run down, you’ll catch a cold or flu. Getting sick over the holidays is never fun.

-          Delegate chores. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Get your family to help.

-          Eat foods & treats in moderation. In the winter we tend to crave fats and sweets. However, the more fat and sugar you eat, the less energy you’ll have, and the more stressed and run down you’ll feel.

-          Plan a potluck gathering. Cook the turkey & let guests bring the rest. With less to cook, you’ll have more time for yourself or other things. Prepare as much as you can in advance, so you can enjoy the company of your guests as they arrive.

-          Have your holiday feast catered or make reservations at a local restaurant. You deserve a night out of the kitchen. Enjoy a nice meal (with no cleaning required).

-          Instead of stressing about what to buy for someone, who has everything, consider a charitable donation (given in their honor). For example, through Plan Canada, you can give a gift of hope. Gifts like clean water, mosquito nets, goats and medicines bring hope & positive change to people all over the world. This is a gift from the heart that keeps on giving. It does everyone good. 

-          Adjust your perspective & attitude. Remember, the best things in life aren’t things. Don’t get stressed about shopping. Focus on what is important, like peace & compassion. Appreciate time spent with your family & friends. Set differences aside. Relax & have fun. Enjoy your holiday season!