The holiday season—a time of giving back to the community, gift exchanges and spending time with the people you love most. But along with that, comes an overwhelming amount of shopping, busy mall crowds, family affairs and defeating the winter slump. While some thrive off of the activities that happen throughout this time of the year, others think of it as an immense stress and hassle. Having a lot on your plate will likely create a morphed perception of what the holiday season is truly about. Although some holiday tasks can be unavoidable, it’s imperative to approach your to-do list with a plan in place so you can prevent yourself from holiday burnout and forgetting the real meaning of the holidays.
To minimize holiday stress and experience a happy and healthy holiday season, here are some tips to follow!
As a way to give back to your community and help others achieve a holiday season that they’ll cherish and enjoy, seek out local volunteer opportunities. Sometimes learning about others’ experiences, hardships and family life can open your eyes to the point of view of those who are less fortunate and facing difficult times. This does not mean that you need to spend money, but rather give back through compliments, conversations, and heartfelt sentiments. The simplest of actions can go a long way in creating happiness for those around you. Your generosity can help you appreciate the true meaning of the holiday season.
Organize Your Finances
Budgeting is crucial during the holiday season. This includes creating a list for who you need to buy for, how much each item is going to cost, and determining an overall spending point based on your current financial standing. To achieve your holiday shopping without breaking the bank, it may require you to start saving months ahead of time, allowing you to have a sufficient amount of cash to allocate towards your shopping endeavors. If you run into a situation where you’ve spent more than you originally anticipated, there are banking options that offer an overdraft protection service. This can act as a safety net for your checking account, bringing your negative balance back up above zero.
Personal finance spreadsheets and planners are other great methods of organizing your expenses during the holiday season. This can ensure you’re staying on top of your budgeting goals and spending no more than necessary. To successfully implement this into your financial management strategy, make a list of the people you have to buy for, and under each name, write out the gift with the price. Once everyone on your list has been accounted for, add up the total balance and subtract that from your current bank balance — including other obligatory bills you have to pay every month. This will give you an accurate price point and help you stick to your spending plan without stressing over your finances. And always refrain from overusing credit cards to subsidize expenses, as debt can add up quickly.
Simplify Your Schedule
The holidays are centered around bringing people together, so you’re chances of getting invited to dinner parties, office parties and trips with extended stays may be at an all-time high. Although these activities are created as a way to have a great time with the people who are important to you, it could become a stress inducer if these events overlap or take away from personal responsibilities you have at home. Even though you may want to participate in everything you can, don’t be afraid to respectfully decline an invitation. If you’re the type of individual who wants to be able to see as many relatives and friends as possible, attend the occasion for a short window of time and make it clear that you have conflicting plans that will require you to leave early..
Take Care of Your Body
A steady self-care routine is important to maintain all year long, but taking care of your body throughout the holiday season is a must. Trying to navigate a busier schedule, travel plans, and for some, the colder weather can take a toll. When you take into consideration your physical, mental and emotional health, you can increase your overall productivity, improve your mood and feel more motivated to invest in yourself.
Many people don’t realize that exercising fills your body with endorphins and boosts your mood. Taking morning walks, participating in a yoga class or even joining a local gym can help you achieve your health goals during the holiday season.
To further your self-care routine, a healthy diet and a sufficient amount of sleep can also prevent holiday anxieties. Fruits and vegetables are vital for adequate nutrition, as well as making sure you’re eating enough and not skipping meals. Although shopping, planning festivities and attending holiday parties can make you more fatigued than usual, sleeping 7-9 hours every night should still be a priority. Getting the recommended amount of sleep will help you wake up feeling energized and ready to take on the day.