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8 Ways to Avoid Stress This Holiday Season



If the holiday season brings you more anxiety than joy, it might be time to reconsider how you’re doing things.

Take a good look inwards: chances are pretty good that you can control whatever factors tend to cause you stress this time of year. Before the holiday season really gets underway, take a moment to plan your course of action. Planning is the best way to keep the season fun and festive – not stressful.

Shop Online
It’s impossible not to get stressed out when you’re battling your way through a crowded mall with a multi-page shopping list in hand (or, even worse, no list at all!). This year, skip the mall entirely. Pop on some Christmas tunes, pour yourself a festive drink, make a list of everyone you need to buy for, and start browsing. Starting early means you won’t need to stress about things shipping in time. Don’t forget to pick up a few extras for unexpected gifts – cozy socks and warm mittens are universal pleasers.

Just Say No
Pretty soon, invitations for work parties, cocktail hours, holiday open houses, and Christmas pageants will start pouring in. Pull out your calendar and mark in your favorite events – and simply send your regrets to the others. If an event feels more like an obligation than a celebration, allow yourself to skip it. Just don’t RSVP saying you’ll be there and bail at the last minute!

Simplify Gifts
Trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list can be a next-to-impossible task. Instead, make it easy on yourself by giving the same gift to most people on your list. Home-made bread, festive cookies, or a bottle of wine will satisfy all those one-off people on your list – neighbors, teachers, Secret Santa picks, etc.  – and will help you stay sane.

Plan Meals Now
With all the running around that happens during the holiday season, it can be hard to sit down and eat a proper healthy meal. Starting now, double your recipes and freeze half of the meal. Come December, you can just reheat for a quick and easy dinner – one that will make you feel much better than grabbing pizza for the fifth night in a row.

Book Appointments
You’re busy enough during the holiday season without added commitments like oil changes and dentist appointments. If you’re due for any check ups, book the appointments for now or for after Christmas. On the same note, if you’re hoping to get your hair done for a holiday gala, make that appointment now – Saturdays at the hair salon are a coveted appointment date come December.

Keep Traditions Fun
It’s easy to get caught up in Christmas traditions, but ask yourself whether you truly enjoy the tradition or whether you’re doing it just because that’s how it’s always been done. Sometimes, it’s better to have fewer, more meaningful traditions.

Cut Corners
Forget perfection: aim to simply do your best this holiday season, even if that means cheating a little here and there. Having a party? Skip out on cleaning the spare rooms, and just keep the door shut. Hosting a dinner? Pick up a pie at the bakery instead of making your own. Let other people sweat the small stuff this year.

Enjoy the highlights of the season by giving your mind and body a break from the constant action of the holidays. Schedule in a yoga class with another stress-prone friend, or drop whatever you’re doing to take a walk outside for that first snowfall. The little moments sometimes make for the biggest memories, so don’t let them pass you by.


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