anger & stress

50 ways to reduce holiday stress

simply stephen / December 22, 2009

If you need a stress buster for the holiday season, here’s 50 ways to reduce holiday stress – quick simple things you can do to take the edge off.

  1. make a holiday checklist and plan your activities and items ahead of time
  2. create a schedule of activities and tasks – delegate and divide and stick to it.
  3. if you have anxieties – make a list of what they are and then delegate the activities
  4. learn to accept that things don’t have to be perfect
  5. set aside some personal time every day for meditation – quiet time
  6. when stressed, immediately practice a breathing exercise
  7. hire a sitter (or do a “child swap”  for your shopping or cooking day
  8. do your shopping early
  9. try a gift exchange for the adults instead of gifts for everyone –  in a large family or group each adult gives one person a gift
  10. don’t shop during peak hours
  11. buy the same consumable gift for everyone, i.e. a bottle of local wine, fancy cheese basket, tickets
  12. find wrapping alternatives, like hand decorated reusable boxes, that your kids can make
  13. remember…you don’t really need more. Avoid the hype
  14. minimize the time with those christmas scrooges
  15. be the Good Samaritan while you are out – open a door, let someone ahead of you in line – an act of kindness will go a long way in making your day.
  16. focus on what you have – not what you don’t have. Gratitude goes a long way.
  17. get your veggies done early and freeze them or put them in the fridge if it is only a day or two
  18. do your side dishes way ahead of time
  19. make your deserts and goodies well in advance
  20. do a desert, cookie and candy exchange with a group of friends
  21. on the day you host an event, set the table and put the decorations up early
  22. keep your decorations simple – leave your lights out for the whole year!
  23. have a potluck for a dinner and share the cleanup
  24. combine visiting by bringing people along to an event
  25. do some of the favourite activities – this will give you a warm fuzzy feeling. Make sure you do the couple things you always like
  26. make sure you get your favourite christmas foods
  27. have a lot of nutritious snacks and water around, especially for the kids
  28. get plenty of rest
  29. plan a day of relaxation and don’t let anything get in the way
  30. turn your phone off and ignore email during specific times each day
  31. prepare a few special activities in advance such as skating, tobogganing, hay ride, etc. that can be done on the spur of the moment
  32. create your own holiday tradition
  33. keep yourself active and get some actual exercise in – even just a fresh evening walk, combine it with walking the dog
  34. too busy – get some help, hire help, outsource, can’t afford it – do a work exchange with a group of friends
  35. go out and get some fresh air
  36. plan an activity like winter walking, skating, skiing or tobogganing
  37. go out and get some fresh daylight, especially those that suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  38. forget about the tree – just put up some simple decorations instead
  39. don’t over commit to activities – choose a few and decline a few
  40. don’t go out on New Years or go out early – plan a simple evening at home with a small group
  41. have a chat with your friends and family about the holidays – pros and cons
  42. control your eating – if you are full, stop; eat smaller portions; limit or ration the sweets; drink lots of water; take your vitamins; reduce your coffee and booze
  43. plan a spa day – if it’s not in your budget have a soak in the bath with candles, no interruptions and some calming music or a good book
  44. donate some time to a local charity
  45. donate some money, food or items to charity
  46. share your food, baking and gifts with your neighbours and co-workers
  47. watch your favourite christmas movies
  48. do something creative – even if it’s just singing a song
  49. laugh and share joy
  50. accept who people are and resist the urge to argue – just walk away

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