Reducing Holiday Stress

Has stress taken the fun out of your holidays? Put the “jolly” back in your holidays and create cherished holiday memories with these proven strategies.

  • Acknowledge that everything doesn’t need to be perfect
  • Start holiday planning and preparations earlier
  • Simplify wherever you can when planning and holding festive celebrations
  • Stick to your budget
  • Scale down your holiday plans
  • Ponder what you really want to do to celebrate the holidays
  • Talk with family members and friends about what they want to do
  • Plan celebrations that express what the holidays truly mean for you
  • Identify old family traditions. Which ones do you love?
  • Opt to keep holiday traditions that bring you joy and happiness
  • Give yourself permission to let go of old traditions that you aren’t fond of
  • Establish the start and stop times for parties
  • Take shortcuts like buying pre-made pies to save time
  • Examine options for pre-made meals or catering services
  • Promptly ask for help when you need it
  • Inform all prospective attendees of your holiday plans in advance
  • Discuss challenging issues in advance with a person who tends to create tension
  • Use place cards to assign seating in efforts to avoid tension-filled holiday gatherings
  • Short-circuit disagreeable family discussions by interrupting or changing the subject
  • Make a gift list, considering the amount of money you can comfortably spend
  • Cut down your gift list
  • Shop early and make notes about where to get low-cost gifts
  • Ask for gift suggestions from the people on your gift list
  • Consider giving gift cards to save time and precious energy
  • Suggest a family name-drawing to reduce gift expenditures
  • Reduce the amount of money you spend overall for the holidays and per gift
  • Avoid making credit card purchases at holiday time
  • Think about making homemade food gifts to save dollars at holiday time
  • Shop early and place gifts in a gift drawer so you’ll be ready for the holidays
  • Schedule time to be with your kids for some special holiday moments
  • Keep the kids busy with holiday crafts. They’ll enjoy it and you can get more done.
  • Take time daily to meditate, even if only for a few minutes


Stress-Free Holiday Traveling

 Plan holiday travel trips in advance

  • Travel during off-peak hours
  • Start out well-rested
  • Build-in extra money to your travel budget in case of emergencies
  • Arrive at the airport or other station early to more easily take care of last-minute challenges
  • Expect to run into snags
  • Pack light and carry on your bag, rather than checking it
  • Allow extra time to travel from place to place and expect heavy traffic
  • Send your gifts in advance or take gift cards
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Pack plenty of healthy snacks that travel well without refrigeration
  • Bring plenty of things to keep the kids happily occupied
  • Make waiting times go faster and regain a happy holiday feeling by meditating
  • Use portable meditation props, like a favorite image on your smartphone or tablet
  • Plan to arrive at your holiday destination rested and excited to share your holidays with loved ones

Meditation for a Stress-Free Holiday Travel

 Sit up straight and relax your shoulders

  • Let distracting thoughts dissolve away as you focus on deep breathing
  • Think about your destination and the loved ones you’ll be visiting
  • Remember that you’re surrounded by people making similar plans – just like you
  • Once you’re feeling relaxed and happy, let go of the details and enjoy that warm feeling.
  • Imagine wrapping up those good feelings and presenting them to everyone around you
  • Gradually return your attention to the present moment
  • Remind yourself of the fellowship you felt while meditating.

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