6 Tips for a Less Stressed Holiday Season

christmas-1911637_1920.jpgNovember is upon us. Holiday decor has filled our local shops even before Halloween costumes hung on the racks. With the advent of November, the holiday season begins in earnest.

The stretch between November 1 and January 1 tends to be the busiest and most stressful time of the year. Shopping, company parties, family get-togethers, can be difficult to navigate.

Monitor your expectations

It’s easy to get carried away with a fantasy of the “perfect” holiday gathering. Take some time to evaluate what is realistic to expect of yourself and your family. Consider adjusting timing or size of holiday gatherings to reduce stress.

Set limits

Spend some time looking ahead at your calendar. Work and home obligations continue during this season. Considering limiting holiday events to one or two per week to keep them manageable.

Plan self-care

While your calendar is out, schedule your self-care including exercise, massage, and evenings at home. Stick to your schedule when invitations for holiday gatherings arrive, decline those that conflict with your self-care plan.

Don’t overindulge

Holiday parties and employee break rooms can be hazardous places during the holidays. Enjoy treats from time to time, but don’t overindulge. Excess sugar and alcohol make you feel sluggish and interferes with sleep.

Buy experiences, not things

Things tend to accumulate and create clutter. Consider investing in experiences with your family. Buy movie tickets, museum passes, or concert tickets as gifts that you can enjoy with your friends and family after the holiday season.

Do something for someone less fortunate

Take time to think outside of your circle of friends and family. Buy gifts for children living in poverty and donate to local organizations, serve a meal at a soup kitchen, donate gift cards for gas or groceries to your local church to distribute to those in need.

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