Don’t Be a Grinch: Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress
Are you stressed? Do the holidays have you running all over town? Are you racking up the debt quicker than you can pay the bill?
Well, you’re not alone.
In fact, 45% of Americans would prefer to skip Christmas, according to a survey from Think Finance and reported on nbcnews.com. This should tell you a lot about how people are really feeling during the holiday season. Even though we preach holiday cheer, inside most people are a Nervous Nelly.
So, why so serious?
Well, in another recent poll done by the American Psychological Association, nearly 25% of Americans claimed to feel “extreme stress” around the holidays. Of these people, 69% are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time,” 69% are stressed from “lack of money,” and 51% are stressed out about the “pressure to give or get gifts.”
With all this pressure, it’s no wonder we enjoy the holidays less as we get older. But this year, we have some helpful ideas to destress, relax and actually enjoy time with friends and family.
Here’s how to handle holiday stress:
- Know Your Spending Limit.
Overspending on gifts can happen faster than you realize. It’s too easy. With long lists and tons of temptations all around, we can add things to our carts while shopping and not even realize how much it’s adding up to. So, this year, you need to budget ahead of time for what you can actually afford and still be comfortable after the holidays. To stick to your budget, try using Valpak coupons (there’s literally one for everything) and taking only cash with you to the store.
- Share the Tasks
You’re not superman (or woman). You don’t have to do everything yourself. Share your “to do” list with the family. It’s ok to ask for help. Let people know it’s a lot for you to take on, and it would really relieve some pressure if they can pitch in here and there. Divide and conquer. Ask your kids to help wrap gifts with you or your friends to help bake. And preparing the dinner can also be a family affair, from setting the table to slicing the pie. This is also a fun way to spend quality time together!
- Be Realistic.
Don’t put extra pressure on yourself trying to create the perfect “story book” holiday for your family. Instead, focus on the family traditions and making the holiday memorable with the ones you love. You should give your kids realistic gift list expectations, so you won’t feel like you’re disappointing. Oh, and if your family and relatives have a hard time getting along, set limits on your time at events and visits.
Take care of yourself and be happy this holiday season. Not only will you be happier, but those around you will be happier, too….’Tis the season to be merry!