You might be wondering why people even like the holidays. Sure, you get time off work but it seems like you don't have a second to relax. Here are some tips on how to have stress free holidays so you can actually enjoy your time off and focus on the true meaning of the day.
Plan in advance. This may mean that you start shopping for Christmas gifts in the summer. This gives you time to really pay attention to what your family members want and then you can find the item on sale. It also gives you the opportunity to make craft gifts for the person that has everything.
Just say no. When Christmas rolls around you'll be inundated with concerts, caroling and parties. It's ok to say no so you have enough time to really enjoy the holidays. Most people will understand that you are already stretched pretty thin for the holidays because they probably are too.
Set a budget. A lot of holiday stress comes from budget constraints. You can start setting aside money earlier in the year to pay for gifts. You might even need to get a second job to help out. Prioritize on who you want to give gifts to so you can really maximize your budget. This will save you stress both now and in January when the credit card bills arrive.
Utilize basic organization skills. Santa isn't the only one who needs to make a list and check it twice. You can set schedules and create lists so you don't forget any of the important events or projects you have this holiday season. This will allow your mind to relax instead of having your brain keep you awake all night trying to remember everything that you need to do.
Stay healthy. Your body can get worn out with all of the holiday stress. Eat as healthy as possible and get plenty of exercise and sleep so you can be in top shape to deal with the stress of the holidays.
Find time for yourself. It's your holiday too. This may mean taking an extra long bubble bath or stealing a few minutes to write on your blog. It's difficult to keep up your routine through the holidays, but at least remember your coping skills.
Focus on the simple things. You may not be able to cook and decorate like Martha Stewart and that's ok. Make a list of your favorite holiday memories and bring those traditions into your home. This could be sledding or creating a gingerbread house with your kids. By incorporating things you actually like into the holidays you'll relieve stress and start new traditions.