“Holiday Stress Reducing Checklist”
The Christmas holidays are a mixture of pleasure and stress. There is so much to do and time is limited for everyone.
It takes careful planning to keep on track and reduce stress to be able to enjoy the season with family and friends.
Some of the biggest holiday stressors are:
- unrealistic expectations
- too many demands on an already full schedule
- unfinished emotional business with family
- dispersed family and changed situations
- celebration anxiety
- finances and overspending
“Setting realistic expectations will help reduce your stress significantly”
- Assess your situation and acknowledge your limitations
- Adjust plans to be realistic
- Be honest about your feelings
- Being organized is very important to reduce stress.
- Make a plan to spend 1 hour after work each evening to shop. You will be surprised how much you get done this way and not have to spend hours in the crowded stores on the weekend.
- Wrapping gifts as you buy them will save you time.
- Pacing yourself is a great way to prioritize.
- Make a list of the goodies you absolutely want to cook and prepare them 1 or 2 items at a time instead of dedicating 2 or 3 days of cooking.
- You may decide that you will make recipes that require no baking.
- Delegate some of the chores to others. Kids love decorating the tree and putting up decorations.
- Balance your time being with others and time alone. Having a positive attitude helps you to enjoy the festivities.
- Take time to do things for yourself that help you to relax.
- Read, go to the gym, soak in the tub, or sit quietly in front of the lit tree or fireplace with your favourite beverage.
- Prepare yourself mentally for family dynamics.
- It is ok to spend a little time with family or no time at all, if that is what works best for you. Every year can be different.
- Focusing on the true meaning of Christmas allows us to reflect on what is really important.
Pick 10 things that you and your family really enjoy doing during the holiday season and stick to those. , e.g. , time with immediate family, time with friends, making gifts, shopping for gifts, decorating your home, religious or spiritual traditions, baking/cooking holiday meals, parties with family relatives, parties with friends, donating money to charitable organizations, volunteering, taking family photos, or travelling.
You can make your own list.