Shop early - It may be funny for some to put off holiday shopping until the last minute, but this can result in a lot of stress and strain that is completely avoidable. Instead, stay ahead of the rush and aim for getting it done early. Many of us do a good portion of our shopping online now, and taking advantage of ’Black Friday’ and ’Cyber Monday’ sales is a great way to get a good portion of our holiday shopping done. Don’t forget people and wind up in a last minute rush anyway.
Set a budget - Let’s face it, the holiday season can leave us broke for the rest of the year if we’re not careful. So, putting some reasonable limits on our spending is a great way to avoid stress and unhappiness during the holidays...and long after. Once we set a budget, we need to be sure to stick to it.
Set a schedule - Once we have our gifts and haven’t broken the bank its time to go visiting and host others. This can also easily become a source of stress for us if we’re not careful. Like money, our time is a resource that we need to manage well. Setting a realistic visiting schedule will keep your stress low and result in happier holidays. When making a plan be sure to take into consideration travel times, expenses, and the fatigue factor.
Set the example - Once visiting is underway its important to contribute to enjoyable visits by staying calm and positive, and avoid conflicts. Try to set an example by focusing on having good, quality time with your friends and family. Be the hero of the story by tolerating other people’s personal culture and beliefs.
Minimize drama - We all have friends or family members that like to cause drama. When spending time with them, avoid focusing on differences and respect the right for others to have their own opinions. If that doesn’t seem to work, minimize your time with them as much as possible. Sometimes this means editing people who’ve proven themselves to be toxic out of your visiting schedule.
Treat yourself - Although the holidays are a time to think of others, we need to be kind and mindful of ourselves, too. Aside from little side-gifts for ourselves, we should be sure to get plenty of rest, avoid skipping meals, and make healthy food and drink choices. A little portion control and moderation goes a long way here. We should also be sure to include down-time in your schedule and keep up our exercise routines during the holidays. Simple things like having a nice hot cocoa and taking some time to read or watch a movie will also help a lot.
So, follow these tips and be smart about how you manage the holidays. Don’t let things get out of control and make your holidays happy! Happy holidays to all.