If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (especially across the past few winters), then you will know that Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday. I love everything about it – the celebrations, the decorations, the time spent with family, the time spent away from school. It’s such a cheerful time of year when everyone seems to be in their best spirits.
While Christmas is wonderful, it’s definitely stressful. There’s a lot of organizing (travel plans, gift lists, food) and a lot of working under pressure. The holiday season should be relaxing and joyful, but sometimes it’s hard to focus on what really matters when you’re all wrapped up in executing the perfect Christmas plans. Here are my top tips for making sure that your holidays are fun and festive without being overwhelming:
Enjoy the Little Things // A lot of times we get hung up on the big-picture. We try to bring everything together at once, and when plans start to not work out, we freak out. Instead of focusing on the giant stuff (travel plans, decorating the entire house in one day, getting your Christmas shopping done in one weekend, etc.), pick out the little things to focus on and actually enjoy them. Christmas is supposed to be happy, and you are too. If you know that thinking about those big-picture things are going to stress you out, break them down into smaller items on a to-do list to check off as the season progresses. It will make them much more manageable and bring your stress levels down considerably.
Watch a Christmas Movie // Sometimes just taking a break is enough to readjust and restart your mental state when you begin feeling stressed. Have you wrapped so many presents that you feel like your hands are going to fall off? Have you poured over Pinterest for hours looking for the best Christmas Eve dinner recipes? Does the thought of trying to figure out what relatives are staying where for the 10th time when they come to visit make you want to cry? If so, then it’s time to pump the breaks. Make yourself a nice cup of tea (or have a glass of wine; it’s the holidays, after all), sit down on the couch and watch your favorite Christmas movie without feeling guilty. It might seem like precious time is being wasted, but you will feel so much better after you’ve just relaxed for a while. It will get you back into the holiday spirit without sending you into overdrive.
Volunteer // There’s no better way to snap out of the stressful situations Christmastime can produce than by giving your time to those who need it. When you give back to your community – whether that’s by spending time at a soup kitchen, organizing a toy drive, or even just shoveling an elderly neighbor’s driveway when it snows – you’ll quickly realize that everything you were freaking out about wasn’t actually that important at all. Christmas is about so much more than the material stuff, and volunteering can really help you open your heart this season to compassion and selflessness.
What’s your best tip for staying stress-free during the holidays?
Thanks for reading!