The holidays can be the most exciting time of the year, but for some, it can be filled with mixed emotions and stress, especially this year with the added financial tension many families are experiencing. The pressure to say “yes” to parties, special events, and plans with friends and family can add unwanted stress to an already hectic schedule. Then, there is the financial pressure of preparing meals, bringing pot luck dishes to parties, finding the perfect gifts, and holiday decorating.
It’s not surprising that even the calmest individuals can feel the added weight during the holiday season. It’s important to remember that out of all things on your holiday to-do list, the most important one is taking care of your mental health and practicing self-care. Below are a few ways to stay well this holiday season.
1. Accept your limitations.
Remember that you can’t be everywhere at once. Everyone has their limits and it’s important to not spread yourself thin just because it’s the holidays. Prioritize your family’s time and only commit to what is most important to you. It’s about quality, not quantity.
2. Don’t wait until the last minute.
You will feel more in control and prepared if you start your holiday shopping early. Trying to do everything in one weekend can be overwhelming and lead to burn out. To avoid this, make a list of gift ideas so that you have a game plan when you’re out shopping.
3. Make time for self care.
It’s easy to forget about yourself during the holidays. However, it’s important to make time for peace, happiness, and self-care. Carve out some time to unwind and enjoy the things you love. This can be free and simple such as reading a book, dancing to music, and reflecting on the positive things happening in your life.
4. Set a holiday budget.
It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialization of the holidays. Setting a budget is critical to avoiding post-holiday blues. Before you begin your holiday shopping and cooking, set a realistic budget that includes the parties you want to attend, the cost of gifts and decorations, and then stick to the budget.
5. Ask for help.
If you start feeling the pressure of everything that’s on your list, it’s okay to ask friends or family for help. Whether it’s picking up something at the grocery store, helping with gift wrapping, or taking part in holiday baking, those that are close to you will be willing to help. These little moments are what the holidays are about.
6. Remember what the holiday season is about.
The holidays are meant to be filled with joy, cheer, and gratitude. It’s easy to lose track of this when you’re in a whirlwind of stress and planning. Spending quality time with friends and family can help ground you and remind you what the season is about. Remember to slow down and think about what is most important to you during the holidays.