The holidays can be ridiculously stressful. You have to get your home ready for guests. There’s budgeting, shopping, cooking, and so much to plan. Whatever your reasons, the holidays can leave many of us frazzled.
A lot of it has to do with the crazy expectations we place on this holiday. But I’m here to remind you that you don’t need to compromise your mental health, your budget, or who you are to celebrate the holidays. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy whatever this season brings.
1. Be Satisfied With “Okay”
Most people want to turn their homes into a magical winter wonderland for the holidays, but looking for new decorations and planning the whole thing can be SO stressful. But sometimes, “the bigger, the better” isn’t actually…better. Ask yourself, “Do I need garlands and fake snow in every window of the house?” “Do I need a gigantic Christmas tree that takes two weeks to decorate?” Chances are, you might just as happy without them.
2. Forget About Shopping
Everyone loves presents. But sometimes it’s just all too much. You have to try to guess what they want, pick a gift, stress about the money, and wrap it. Ugh.
Skip the stress of shopping and share a unique experience with your loved ones. You can treat them to a fancy breakfast at a hotel or take them on a road trip to the nearest Christmas town. Instead of more material gifts, you’ll get to cherish these wonderful memories forever.
3. Drop Those Stressful Rituals
If your schedule is packed with activities and events your kids don’t enjoy anymore, then your family may have outgrown your own holiday traditions.
If the children complain and make a fuss every time you take them to the outdoor skating rink, then it’s time to replace those traditions with something simpler. Try making hot cocoa together, baking a new recipe, or playing a fun new game like Throw Throw Burrito. It’s a hybrid between dodgeball and a card game where opponents throw burritos at each other in order to collect cards.
4. Cut Down on Holiday Cards
Sending a handful of personalized holiday cards is okay, but sending one to every single person in your life can totally wreck you. Aside from writing each card, you’ll have to seal the envelopes, stamp them, and drive to your nearest post office. Oof! That’s a lot of added stress to an already-stressful holiday.
Refocus your priorities and only send a holiday card to 5 or 10 of the most important people in your life. Or you can send a personalized e-card to all the people on your list. You can also ask the kids to draw something meaningful and share it with the whole family online.
5. Take Some Time to Relax
During these stressful moments, you’re wearing yourself out to get everything done on your to-do list. That’s why it’s so important to schedule some time to relax and unplug.
Soak in the tub for 30 minutes, or ask a family member to babysit for an afternoon. Have a favorite show on Netflix? Snuggle up on the couch with your favorite blanket and guiltlessly watch a couple of episodes. Your mental health is way more important than any gift or holiday plan.
The holidays can get stressful, but they can also be SO much fun. There are many ways to celebrate the holidays, so don’t be afraid to celebrate in a way that works for you and your loved ones, even if that means simplifying things.