The holidays are a time to step back, relax, and absorb all of the wonderful things that happened over the last year. Kicking back and reconnecting with family and friends (and of course, good food!) is a wonderful part of this joyous time of year.
However, not all of us see it as a time to relax. The strain of cooking holiday meals, shopping for gifts, and creating a schedule to manage it all effectively can leave you worn out. There is an easier way to handle the holiday season though. Below, I’ve outlined a few helpful suggestions to give you a reason to give thanks this year and celebrate your loved ones.
Avoid Last Minute Shopping. I mentioned shopping before, and with good reason! Shopping for gifts can be one of the biggest stressors during the holidays. The struggle to find that perfect gift for your friends and family can come at a serious cost to your mental health.
One of the easiest ways to avoid this stress is by doing your Christmas shopping earlier in the month. Don’t wait until the day before Christmas to go shopping! Instead, make a point to get out there in advance and grab everyone’s gift far before the store shelves run dry.
Consider Gift Certificates. As a follow up suggestion, why not grab a few gift certificates for your loved ones? It’s definitely easier than stressing yourself out trying to figure out what they want. Everyone loves a free dinner, pair of shoes, or a massage! Take this approach to your gift giving and you might even find a few happier faces around the Christmas tree.
Forget About Your Diet. The holidays are a time to indulge our senses and appreciate all the hard work we’ve done over the year. Give yourself approval to enjoy your favorite foods and don’t worry about putting on a pound or two. But don’t throw all of your healthy habits out the window! Overeating can leave you feeling stressed too. Find a balance, and don’t restrict yourself. This is the time of year to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Focus on Being Grateful. Each one of us has something to be thankful for. I talked in-depth about thankfulness in my December Appreciation Challenge blog. If we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and the love of a few close friends - we all can be grateful for something in our life. If you start to feel stressed during the holidays, step back and reflect on all the wonderful things in your life. Say thank you to your loved ones and remind them how much they mean to you. Little things go a long way towards making the holidays more enjoyable for everyone.
Pamper Yourself. Treat yourself to a massage on Christmas Eve or even a holiday-themed Mani-Pedi! You deserve to relax and pamper yourself, and what better time than over the holiday season.
Make this year the best yet by showing gratitude, loving your friends and family, and taking it easy on yourself by planning ahead.