There are 81 days left until Christmas Day, and 50 days until Thanksgiving. Not sure why, but this gives me a wee bit of anxiety. I always try to prepare in advance for the holidays, but some years I simply drop the ball in my planning efforts. Although I’m not where I want to be by this time of year, I still have plenty of time to get organized for the upcoming season. Today I’m sharing tips to help you get a head start, so you can focus on what truly matters and avoid unnecessary holiday stress.
5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Stress
1. Shop early
You don’t have to wait until Black Friday to snag great deals on Christmas gifts. For example, if you have to shop for 7 family members, you have plenty of time to spread that out over the next couple of months. Simply purchase one gift per week, and you’ll be done by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. If you have more people on your list, try to purchase 2-3 gifts per week and you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy a shopping-free holiday season.
2. Prep your home
Now is the time to begin working on unfinished projects and deep cleaning areas that need attention. Don’t wait until you’re busy with holiday parties and other activities to get started. I’m already planning a deep cleaning session so I can be completely done by Thanksgiving. If your funds allow it, consider hiring a local cleaning company to stop by and deep clean your home. I plan to have my carpets steam cleaned professionally instead of doing it myself like I typically do.
3. Schedule time with family
Spending time with family is always on top of my list for the holidays. Instead of assuming that I’ll have time to do this, I schedule activities throughout the holiday months that enable us to enjoy the season without the stress. I only include activities my kids look forward to every year, and I try to leave room for events that might come up at the last minute.
Click below to check out some of our favorite Christmas activities!
4. Let go of guilt
I love the holidays, but I find that it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. For a couple of years, I didn’t put up one outdoor decoration because it was a very busy season for our family. If you personally know me, you know this is a big deal. And although I allowed guilt to set in, my kids didn’t even care that we were the “odd house” on the block. Remember that you won’t be able to do it all, and if you try, you’re going to get burned out. If cooking and baking are a priority to you, focus on that. If you prefer to deck out your home, make that your thing. Just don’t try to be great at everything because something else will suffer in the process.
5. Take care of yourself
You can’t take care of others, if you don’t take care of yourself first. If you’re not careful, the holiday season can wind up becoming detrimental to your physical and mental health. Make time to exercise, socialize, and treat yourself to the things you enjoy. I personally like getting a pedicure when I need to unwind and step away from the daily routine. I also like to visit my favorite bookstore and browse around while indulging on coffee. This small break enables me to recharge and beat the holiday blues.
What are some of your favorite ways to avoid holiday stress? I’d love to hear your tips!