Wondering how to deal with holiday stress? The holiday season brings with it so much joy. Time off to spend with your family and friends, gifts, which, let’s face it, are as good to give as they are to receive – and so much bad food to make up for a year of being good.
However, to deny that it involves stress is to deny the relief you feel when it’s all pulled off. Finally. Relaxation.
If you’re anything like me, your holiday plans involve feeding five thousand, entertaining (and feeding) guests for two weeks, buying gifts, decorating the house, and occasionally working from home without losing my mind. It’s a lot. But I think I have some tried and tested tricks to deal with holiday stress that will help you – no matter what your plans are!
RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN
As with everything in life, the thought of it is often worse than the actual thing. If you picture yourself running around, flapping over a turkey, chopping up carrots and stressing in a sweaty and hot kitchen you’re obviously going to be stressed about it.
Instead, rewire your thoughts. You’ll be breezily roasting a turkey with all the windows open. Perfect.
Often, the thought of the stress and the holiday period is worse than the actuality of it. Don’t overthink, just go through the motions, everything will come together in the end and you’ll be surprised how well you’ll pull it off!
SAVOR THE MOMENT
It’s easy to get swept up in the holiday period and forget to savor the moment and actually enjoy it. Every time you feel stress creeping up, take a minute to ground yourself.
You’ll benefit from using some cognitive behavioral techniques like the ones that are featured in the Stress Less Journal. The Stress Less Journal has been designed for every stressful period in your life, to help you untwist your thoughts. With exercises and inspiration throughout, you can use it whenever you feel holiday stress building!
Use it to remind yourself to savor the moment and be grateful for it, no matter how stressful it feels! The stress and noise of family around you arguing over what to put on TV is a joyful, noisy, chaotic, messy stress that you never want to have to miss.
TAKE A BREAK AND GET SOME FOCUS BACK
If you have a Christmas to-do list as long as your arm (that matches your work to-do list perfectly), take a breath and relax. You either need to pause and come back to it or just re-jiggle things to make sure what you’re trying to achieve is actually do-able. If you’re wondering how to deal with holiday stress, you need to get some focus back.
So you want to get all your gifting done, have the house spotless, and wrap all your gifts in one weekend? Not happening. Take a chill pill and remember that the kindest thing you can do for yourself this Christmas is giving yourself some space.
RELIVE YOUR CHILDHOOD
Remember what it was like to be a child? You literally had so much fun, and these days you struggle to feel like that without a giant glass of wine – right? Instead, bring your best, most playful self to Christmas. Get out the party hats, make sure you have enough games to play, and really enjoy your time.
Happiness is contagious so if you feel happy, you’re more likely to pass that happiness on to other members of your family who might also be feeling the holiday stress.