8 Tips to Help You Avoid Stress During the Holidays

The holiday season is a stressful time. Not only are you thinking about the gifts you need to purchase, but you also may be wondering what you need to do to please your family and friends. To help relieve some of the tension, we wanted to share some tips to help.

1. Set Realistic Expectations 

Although you may see elaborate holiday set-ups on TV and social media, it is not realistic to think that you have to make your home look like something straight out of a magazine. It’s okay if your house isn’t spotless, if your table set-ups and extravagant holiday decorations don’t look like Martha Stewart’s. Everyone has different circumstances whether it’s kids or a lack of space that affects their ability to do so. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you spend quality time with your loved ones.

2. Start Shopping Early

You don’t need to wait until Black Friday or December to start shopping. Many stores will offer discounts all year round. By doing your shopping early, it can help you avoid the unnecessary stress of gifts not arriving in time or items running out of stock.

3. Avoid Reigniting Old Conflicts

Family gatherings can be stressful. Not only are there a lot of people, but sometimes past disagreements or ongoing feuds will cause anxiety. Avoid these arguments if you can. If the person wants to talk about it, set aside your differences and offer to discuss these challenges at a later date.

4. Stay in Budget

The holidays can get expensive with gifts, food, decorations and travel. Establish a budget, and figure out what you need to do to stay within it. Whether it’s decreasing the number of gifts that you give or finding other ways to cut costs in a different category, make sure to plan it out. If you think it’s stressful pleasing your loved ones, you may be even more overwhelmed paying your bills if you overspend throughout holidays.

5. Avoid Over-Scheduling 

Even though the holidays are a fun, busy time, you have to remember that you are not invincible. You need time to yourself to relax and prepare for your future plans. If you stretch yourself too thin, you may grow tired and find it hard to enjoy the important moments.

6. Eat in Moderation

Although you may be tempted to eat huge helpings of that delicious holiday food, think again! You need to remember that holiday food is not the healthiest option, and eating larger portions of it makes it worse. Make it a point to portion your holiday meal so you get all your favorites, but try not to overeat. 

7. Keep Up the Exercise 

After eating big meals, it is important that you take time to burn it all off! You’ve worked hard getting healthy and fit for the summer – don’t give up on your health now. It’s much harder to get back into a routine when you’ve stopped exercising altogether. 

8. Take Time For Yourself

Even though the holidays can get busy, take some time for yourself. Think about what you are thankful for, the great memories you’ve had, and what items you want to get done the next day. Time spent in quiet reflection relieves stress and reminds us of what is really important about the holidays.

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