How to Survive the Holidays

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Having friends and family over for the holidays brings fun, laughter, and lasting memories. However, it can also bring stress and unwanted frustrations to the already hectic holiday season. You have a lot going on between holiday shopping, cooking big meals, and keeping up with the schedule. Trying to balance is overwhelming in itself, but then when you have to plan on visitors staying for a few days it can push you over the top. This year, to prepare follow these tips to make this season enjoyable for everyone, including you.

Remember you’re not Santa Clause. Last year I got so caught up in spoiling my family that it took away from enjoying the season. Once Christmas was over I had buyer’s remorse, because I spent more than was necessary and needed. It’s nice to get presents, but you don’t need to go over the top and put the majority of your focus on buying gifts for others that you lose track of what’s important during this time. Christmas is about spending time with family members, not spoiling them rotten. Only give what you can comfortably afford. If you are struggling with money this year do something different than giving lots of gifts, you’ll be happier not just during the holidays, but for the rest of the year. If you have young children consider starting now by having them pick one or two things they really want for Christmas instead of a long list. That way they won’t expect to be spoiled every year and be disappointed when one year they aren’t given as much.

Make room for everyone in your family—even the odd balls. During the holidays you should make everyone feel welcomed, and that might mean putting on a smile and enduring that one crazy aunt. It’s important to prepare yourself mentally if you know an odd or difficult relative will be coming over. Expect imperfection so that when something happens you won’t get upset and worked up about what had happened. Doing whatever you need to do to help you feel more carefree and relaxed will keep you from getting upset.

Take time for yourself. It’s important to show your love to your family during this season, and doing things for them that will make them happy. However, you need to do stuff for yourself so you can also enjoy this time. I think about growing up and how my mother would prepare everything. She would buy all the gifts, and make sure that her children had a great day. I look back now and realize that she never got anything in return. She wasn’t spoiled on Christmas and she didn’t get new things. It wasn’t anything special for her but she made it extra special for the ones she loved. Make time for things that you like to do during this season. Watch your favorite Christmas movie or read your favorite Christmas book. Find time to relax and enjoy this time for yourself, it will make this season more enjoyable and memorable.

It’s okay to say no. It’s common that during this season with everything that is going on you spread yourself too thin. It might be necessary to decline some invitations to holiday events, gatherings, and parties. Decide to set a limit on how many activities you will attend and make sure you’re making an effort to attend ones that include your family.

Make a plan and set boundaries. Plan your shopping early, and don’t wait for until the last minute. The sooner you shop the more likely you will find everything on your checklist, and more time you can spend doing things that will be more enjoyable.

Make this holiday season one to remember!