5 tips to keep you sane and stress-free this holiday season

Use these tips to skip the stress and soak in each moment. Happy holidays!

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When you think of the holidays, you may think of family, festivities, and fun. However, it can also be filled with a never-ending list of errands, an overflowing calendar of events, and budding family tensions. So, how can you keep sane and stress-free this holiday season? Just remember the five P’s.

(Photo: Pexels)

Plan ahead

Pushing things to the last minute is a sure way to heighten your stress level. This can apply to gift shopping, meal planning, and travel coordinating. To minimize stress, put your plans down on paper. Write out a list of gifts for each person. For you online shoppers, check the delivery times to ensure gifts arrive on time. Avoid frequent trips to the grocery store by planning your dinner recipes in advance and getting the ingredients in one trip.  If you feel like your time is limited, cut out things that aren’t a priority.

Preserve your peace 

Once schedules begin filling up with holiday parties and festive events, give yourself permission to say no. Setting boundaries is a good way to preserve your peace. Be clear with family members about your ability (or desire) to spend the holidays together. It’s okay to prioritize your needs. Even if you have “always done it that way,” empower yourself to change things up this year in order to protect your happiness. Finally, delegate necessary tasks that add to your stress. If hosting events make you feel frantic, let someone else do it this year. Not a fan of holiday potlucks? Give yourself permission to buy your dish, rather than make it from scratch.

Soul Food Thankgsiving Overhead with Fried Chicken, Cornbread, C
(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Have patience

The holidays are the perfect time to bond with family you may not see often. However, emotions can ride high with more people around. When family conflict arises, be patient with your loved ones. It can be difficult to balance the expectations that each person has. If you sense that things are getting tense, change the subject or choose to let the small things go. Come to family events with a sense of realism. If you know your crazy uncle always has a joke that gets under your skin, don’t expect things to change. Rather, focus on what you love about him.  

(Photo: Pexels)

Be present

Amongst the busyness of last-minute errands and over-flowing schedules, it’s easy for your mind and body to be in two different places. To minimize stress, allow yourself to be present in the moment during holiday festivities. You can do this by putting your phone away and getting rid of other distractions when with family. Also, try to focus on one task at a time rather than multitasking. Add enjoyment to cooking and gift wrapping by making it a team effort with the children in the family. Finally, don’t take on more than you can handle. If your plate is full of things to do, politely say no to taking on anything else.

Predict the unpredictable

Give yourself a little grace. Expect things to go off course. Let go of the rigid expectations you place on yourself and others. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to spend the holidays. Do what feels right to you. If your partner or kids have different goals for this season, take turns doing what each person wants to do. Most importantly, never compare yourself to anyone else.

Use these tips to skip the stress and soak in each moment. Happy holidays!

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