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Make the Holidays Easier, Use a Calendar!
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2023
TIPS FOR MANAGING HOLIDAY STRESS
There are ways to deal with holiday stress, but first, you need to understand your triggers.
Do certain situations cause you to feel overwhelmed? When you feel stressed, stop and try to consider what may be causing your anxiety. Once you understand your triggers, use these simple tips to limit holiday stressors.
Organizing your time around the holidays with friends, family and work can be tricky. We suggest utilizing a calendar (even if it's just a printed off month of December) and start as soon as you can filling in those days you have planned. Make sure to write down all birthdays, get togethers and other appointments you may need to attend to.
Great, you have the easy part done. Next you need to correspond with anyone you may have family gatherings with. Do you share custody of kids maybe? Lock in visitation dates as soon as possible to avoid a last-minute stress.
Now that you have the hard part done, here's the tricky part - giving yourself deadlines. When you see a deadline on paper, it gives you the motivation to get things done by then. Add on deadlines you may need for the holidays - such as "Christmas Shopping Day", "Grocery Day", "Present wrapping day", "Cooking Day" and so forth.
Now your calendar should be looking pretty full if you have plans. It's ok, the holidays are generally overwhelming for everyone! This brings us to our next topic:
PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST
You see that full calendar; you know what that is missing? Time for yourself. Go ahead and schedule yourself some downtime in. Maybe it's a whole weekend of watching Hallmark Christmas movies and drinking Hot Coco. Schedule a dinner out, or a date. Schedule some gym time (if that's your thing). That calendar is looking REALLY full now, isn't it? Do you know what that means? You can't schedule anything on those days. So, when your coworkers ask you to go out to go bowling next week - you can say that you already have plans. When your great Aunt has a get together (and you really don't want to go) - - you're already busy and have plans.
ANOTHER STRESSOR - KEEPING YOUR FINANCES IN CHECK
Oh the holidays, when you are expected to spend every last dollar, you have on gifts. Don't overdo it this year. Use the back of that calendar you have been working on and write down every bill you still need to pay for the month, and what will need paid with your income this month for next month. Do a little math... viola. You have an amount you have free for the month. Don't forget to calculate things in like groceries and gas.
One thing I like to do is write down everyone I have to buy for, what my limit is for each person, and keep track of what you have already bought (with the amount) and make another list of what you still need to buy and how much that costs. I have done this the past few years for the 10 people I buy for and it makes it super easy. I start shopping in the summer and hit clearance isles as often as I can. But, this year, I have my 4 & 5-year-olds within 2 items of each other, and only a $4 difference.
Another thing I like to do, is add a Plum Paper Planner onto my wishlist from my husband. It's an investment (it's almost $50 for the planner I get, but it's so worth it, and you can catch sales often!) but it helps me stay on track with everything from appointments to meal ideas to work related stuff. (I just signed up for a code that offers you a discount when you click the link in case you missed their sale)
PlumPaper Referral Link
HONOR LOVED ONES YOU HAVE LOST
Someone, somewhere has lost a loved one this year. It can be difficult to celebrate when you're missing that extra person at your social gathering. Consider doing something meaningful in that person's honor. If you are finding yourself in a down loop of not wanting to do anything this holiday season, that is ok. Everyone processes things differently! Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen, nursing home or homeless shelter.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO SAY "NO"
Understand that it's okay to say no. Try to say "yes" to the events and things you know will bring you joy. Say "no" to obligations you know will cause you heartache and disappointment.
If working a few extra hours of overtime will make you happy so you can treat someone you love, it may be worth doing. But if your boundary-crossing relative invites you to a holiday party, feel free to decline. You'll experience less stress and worry by saying no.
And that's all I have for holiday sane keeping tips. We hope you have a great holiday season, and if you have any tips or tricks, please let us know by commenting them!