With all the decorating, cooking and gatherings, Hanukkah, Christmas and the New Year tend to bring additional stress. But a little planning and prioritizing can help you enjoy a peaceful holiday season. Here are some useful tips for all of us to help manage holiday stress:
- Remind yourself that things don’t always go as planned… and be flexible. It’s ok if you can’t make it to every holiday party you are invited to or stay for hours at each one. If you need to make an appearance at more than one, just be cautious of the time and leave when you need to. Set boundaries. Set an alarm on your watch or cell phone giving yourself a few minutes to say your goodbyes before heading on to the next. If you have elderly loved ones with you, keep in mind their needs and plan ahead. Feel good about asking for help if you need it.
- Spending time as a family is the ultimate gift to each other whether you are eating together, exchanging gifts, singing carols or sharing memories of Christmases, Hanukkahs or New Years past. There is much joy in the company of family and a room full of laughter and storytelling. If you’re hosting a family gathering, ask family members ahead of time to help decorate and set up or bring a dish with them to alleviate the stress of cooking and preparing all on your own. The time together and memories made are what’s most important.
- Be creative with your travel schedule. If you can’t be with family during the holiday season, it is ok – be creative and set your own holiday schedule. Traveling during the peak times of the holidays can be stressful with traffic jams, packed airports and hustle and bustle. Look into the alternative of traveling before or after the holidays.
- Adjust your gift-giving budget. If it feels like your wallet isn’t big enough for the number of gifts you would like to purchase, consider downsizing your gift-giving traditions this year. Keep it simple by drawing names with each family member – buy a gift for one person and set a limit. You’ll have more money to spend on a gift for one person than if you had to spread your budget amongst many.
- Donate to those in need. Experience joy in giving to those who are in need by donating to a charitable organization or directly to a child or family in need. Or consider volunteering at a food pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter. You’ll quickly gain perspective, better appreciate your blessings, and you will get a far greater gift in return knowing you have made a difference by helping those who are perhaps less fortunate than yourself.
If you’re a family caregiver, there are ways to also cope with the holiday blues so that you can enjoy everything the holiday season brings. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed during the holidays, take a break to manage holiday stress. Find a quiet place alone to yourself, reflect, and stay focused on what is important.
This post was provided by our franchise owners in Guilford, NC, Roget Berendes and Tina Glenn, Owners of FirstLight Home Care of Guilford.