Even though the holidays are a time of great joy for many, they can also be a major source of stress. Typical stressful situations during the holidays are; family disagreements, conflicts about scheduling and financial problems. Whatever the situation that’s causing the stress, it is important to regularly stop and take a breath to hold onto your sanity.

Trying some of the following tips will help reduce your holiday stress:

  • Take Some Time for Yourself. During the holidays we often spend most of the time thinking of others. While that is very important to maintain, you shouldn’t forget about yourself in the process. Remember to schedule in some “me” time, and concentrate on relaxing. To be able to take good care of others, you first have to take care of your own well being and health.
  • Start Your Shopping Early.  When you get your shopping done early, you can save yourself a lot of stress on various levels. You won’t be competing with other shoppers during peak shopping times. You won’t have to make split second decisions on which gifts you’re going to buy. And you will also have the time to budget your money to make it stretch to the best of your ability.
  • Buy a Present for Yourself. You’ve been budgeting money to buy presents for everyone else, but there is no reason why you can’t buy yourself a little something too!  This is the best way to ensure that you’re getting something that you really want. An excellent present could be to schedule yourself a massage, which is a great way to maintain a healthy stress level.
  • Stay Cool. While it is not necessarily a problem with every family, sometimes being together so much causes conflicts and clashing of egos. Before you enter a family holiday event, make a deal with yourself that you will take the high road. You don’t want arguments to ruin your chance of having fun during the holidays.
  • Watch your Diet. It wouldn’t be fair to yourself to completely avoid indulging at this time of year, but at the same time you should always stay in control. Watch what you are putting into your body, because large amounts of certain foods can have a great influence on how you feel. Especially watch your intake of caffeine and sweets.
  • Rest Enough. The excitement ca really kick in during the holidays. Sometimes you can lose sleep because of stressful thoughts, and sometimes you’ll lose sleep simply because of all the excitement. Either way, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by concentrating on taking enough time for relaxation and getting to bed on time. If you get into a pattern of getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night, you could be setting yourself up for stress without even being aware of it.
  • Delegate Some Tasks. If you suddenly realize that you have been put in charge of too many things, don’t pile on the stress – instead, delegate some tasks. Don’t be afraid to admit it when you need some help and ask for it. You could even get the kids involved with some of the preparations.
  • Keep Up Your Exercise Routine. The thrill of the holiday season can easily disrupt your daily routines if you let it. Even though a little break from your exercises might not make a big difference in your physique, it can make a huge difference to your stress levels. Keeping up some form of exercise will provide you with an outlet for stress.
  • Try To Be Flexible. You may have an image in your head of how you would like certain holiday events to play out. But I’m sure you also know that things rarely go according to plan. When you realize in advance that not everything will be perfect, you won’t feel so stressed-out if things go wrong. Just go with the flow and if necessary make backup plans.

Enjoy your holidays!