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The holidays are a time of celebration and joy, but they can also be an incredibly stressful time. Between gift shopping, decorating the tree, cooking for guests and attending parties there is no shortage of stress this time of year.

Stress is not just unpleasant, it’s bad for your health too! People who feel stressed out during the holiday season tend to eat more unhealthy comfort foods in an attempt to relieve their anxiety. This leads to weight gain and other health issues like high blood pressure or heart disease.

We’ve got you covered with these 5 tips to reduce holiday stress while still allowing you to enjoy all the fun parts about this special time of year!

We all love the holidays and want them to be a truly enjoyable and rewarding experience.

As a result, we tend to spend a great deal of time and effort engaging in various activities trying to make the time period extra special.

Our desire to have the best holidays possible, often delivers a result more ironic than O’Henry’s Gift of the Magi.

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can feel like a never-ending struggle. There’s always something more that needs to be done, whether it is shopping for gifts or cooking dinner with friends; but all too often you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your ever growing list of responsibilities before even starting!

Special holiday events and parties may begin to pepper your schedule, too.

You’re afraid to be the frantic shopper pounding on closed store doors on Christmas Eve, or you’re sure you’ll be forced to take the family out for Chinese supper because there’s no way to do it all!

There are many great resources providing quality hints and tips to reduce holiday stress, and if you feel yourself experiencing a great deal of pressure in December, you should definitely find some of these materials and consider the myriad of great ideas to make your winters easier.

In addition to the many great suggestions these sources provide, there are a few basic steps you can take to make your to-do list seem more manageable and to reduce your stress level.

5 Tips To Reduce Holiday Stress

1. Adjust Your Expectations

Some may benefit from simply readjusting their expectations of the holidays.

The omnipresent media and advertising industries can lead us to believe that any holiday celebration that doesn’t end up resembling a Currier & Ives print is a failure.

This, of course, is not the case.

The perfect holiday is one that doesn’t exist. We should all just enjoy our time with family and friends, without trying too hard for anything else than quality interactions in 2021!

Instead of stressing over each Christmas detail, you may reduce your level of stress by concentrating on the aspects of the holidays that are most meaningful and essential to you.

By readjusting your expectations and goals for the holidays, you can reduce time pressures considerably.

A focus on what matters most to you ensures that you will not spend precious hours involving yourself in activities and projects that are really not part of your “core” holiday goals.

2. Start Early

We frequently chuckle at the fact that Christmas decorations are often put up in shopping malls just after Halloween decorations have vanished.

Although we don’t necessarily need to take the not-so-subtle message of holiday commercialization to heart, we can learn a little bit from the early decoration trend.

By starting our holiday preparations early, we can reduce the amount of pressure and stress we experience during the holiday season.

It may seem unusual, but it really is okay to check whether or not the Christmas lights are working before the day you plan on decorating.

And there’s no reason you can’t spend a little idle time in November doing a lot of holiday shopping.

By doing some of your “required” tasks early, you can avoid the feeling of being in a rush in late December.

3. Follow Santa’s Lead

Santa Claus, the song tells us, makes a list and checks it twice.

If he left delivery of millions of toys up to his memory, he would probably have a nervous breakdown at the North Pole.

You can learn an important lesson from Santa Claus and can create your own organized list of holiday tasks and chores.

Although you may not want to over-regulate yourself, it is a good idea to make a pretty detailed list of everything you’ll need to do in preparation for the holidays.

If you can produce this list early, you will be able to schedule out events in a reasonable manner, making sure you are not caught up in the hustle and bustle that makes the holidays so frustrating for some people.

The holidays can be a source of great satisfaction and enjoyment.

Unfortunately, they can also become a high-pressure race for those who are not adequately prepared.

Organizing and preparing for the holidays is a great way to make this time of year more enjoyable! From starting early, having an organized list with all your tasks set out before you even start decorating, all of this will go a long way to giving you space to enjoy the little things over the holidays.

4. Enjoy the Little Things

One of the best ways to reduce holiday stress is by taking time out to enjoy some of the little things.

As you hang your stockings and care for your reindeer, you should also be trying to find some free time in your schedule for a little recreation or relaxation.

By allowing yourself a few minutes of rest and relaxation every day, you will be taking one of the most important steps toward reducing your holiday stress levels.

When you are truly able to enjoy all the little things, you will naturally feel less stress during this time of year.

5. Take Care of Yourself

There’s a reason why most people become sick during the holidays.

The holiday season is a time of relative inactivity for many people, and it can be easy to forget about our daily routines that promote good health.

By making sure you get enough exercise and rest each day, you will be able to avoid some of the most common holiday health problems.

By planning ahead, you can arrange your activities in a way that will allow you time for the exercise and nourishment that are so vitally important to our overall well-being.

Remember that it’s okay to slow down during the holidays…in fact, it is more than okay; it is necessary for a healthy body and a relaxed mind.

This should be an easy one to keep in your holiday preparations…enjoy the little things, take care of yourself!

6. Bonus: Create a Chore Schedule

One great way to avoid many holiday stress problems is by creating a schedule for all of your household chores.

If you have been letting the laundry pile up or leaving the dust bunnies to their own devices, you should consider scheduling your time so that your chores are completed on time.

By making sure all of your household tasks are taken care of before the holiday season, you will be able to avoid some of the biggest holiday stressors, such as misplaced mail and unwashed windows.

If you need a chore schedule done for you, I highly recommend you check out the Motivated MOMs app .

It’s a terrific app for organizing your weekly chores and keeping track of them on the go. She has really planned out everything that needs to be done throughout the year, including when it must be completed, and she has organized it in such a manner that it is not overwhelming.

Take Back the Holidays!

By following these simple tips, you will be able to enjoy the holidays to their fullest potential.  Not only will you be able to avoid holiday stress, but you may even develop a new appreciation for  this time of year.  Take back the holidays and enjoy them like never before!

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