Dreading the holiday season?  You may already feel stressed, pulled in multiple directions, in financial debt and exhausted. It doesn’t have to feel this way. These 7 quick tips can help you alleviate holiday stress.

  1. Define what YOU want.  What does your ideal holiday look like? Get specific about what matters most to you this year.
  2. Define what YOU value. What brings the most meaning to your holiday season? Family time? Personal time away from work? Volunteerism? A restful vacation?  Does this align with your definition in #1?
  3. Commit your budget. This is a wonderful practice in self-respect.  When you can create and stick to a budget, you demonstrate respect for your financial situation, eliminate the stress of overspending and practice self-care.
  4. Examine your “shoulds”.  If you find yourself saying, “I should buy this…”, “I should visit so and so…”, I should bake cookies for all the neighbors…” Stop. Breathe. Revisit #’s 1 and 2. Let go of the “should’s”. Do what feels right for you.
  5. Tune into your body.  Notice when you feel pushed, pressured, put upon and tired.  Your body holds important information that you may often ignore.  Ask yourself, “What is my body telling me?  What choices can I make in this situation that honors what my mind and body need?”
  6. Slow down.  Good self-care replenishes and refreshes you. If you feel depleted, you are doing too much. Even the “fun” events can exhaust you. What can you eliminate to decrease holiday stress?
  7. Practice gratitude.  Pause frequently to acknowledge what you feel thankful for. Consider simple, everyday pleasures such as gratitude for your cozy, comfortable warm bed that awaits you each evening.  This practice can often slow you down and reset your priorities.

The bottom line is that you do not have to “do it all”. You do not have to be all things to all people all of the time. Do what you can. Do what feels right. Do what aligns with what matters most to you. Do what honors your relationship. Eliminate the rest.

Make this a meaningful holiday season and most importantly, take good care of you.

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