Take time to slow down and combat stress less by intentionally focusing on what’s most important in your family this season.

Dealing With Holiday Stress

Ah, the holidays.

Thanksgiving meals, presents from Santa, Christmas tree decorating, and relatives.

Being a mom, I am in charge of all the festivities. Who we see, when we see them, who gets what, and how they get it.

It can be wonderful, and at times, a bit overwhelming. I want the holidays to be time well-spent. Time to rest and enjoy the company of others.

But it easily can become a very stressful time when you have to consider everyone else’s needs or meet your own expectations of creating a perfect holiday experience.

Let’s face it, someone’s going to get upset, you’ll forget something, and there won’t be enough time to do all the things.

So maybe before we jump headfirst into all the holiday things, let’s take a minute to be intentional in how we approach the holidays to make them something we actually enjoy and get to be a part of!

Holiday stresses

3 Ways to Stress Less This Holiday

1. Don’t Try to Do It All

I love to make these grand plans for decorating the house, cooking amazing meals, and having fun holiday-themed activities. However, when I try to do everything, I either don’t do it well, or I don’t enjoy it because I’m so tired once it’s all setup.

The thing about the holidays is that they aren’t like planning one party. They are an ongoing celebration and you don’t want to pack your schedule so tightly that it becomes something you dread once the day arrives.

For example, I created a fall and winter bucket list for my family. If you think we check off everything on those lists, you’re crazy! I use them as a springboard for ideas that we can do throughout the season. I don’t make a big schedule of it, it’s more of a time filler for when we want to enjoy an activity as a family.

Finding your strengths helps too when it comes to holiday prep. My family knows I love to decorate the house and give it a spooky feel for Halloween, a fall theme for Thanksgiving, and a cozy feeling at Christmastime. While I enjoy baking sweets (mostly for myself!), I dread cooking. So a few years ago, I quit trying to do it all and accepted the fact that I’m good at creating a fun atmosphere, and order in the food for special occasions.

Holiday stresses

2. Plan Down Time

Sometimes the best thing to plan into your schedule is downtime. Lazy weekends are so beneficial after a hectic work week and when you have two weeks of kids at home during the holidays, a few good movie marathons are helpful! Pop some popcorn and tell everyone to lay out a palette of blankets and pillows on the floor.

Or better yet, schedule a daily “rest time” where everyone has to stay in their rooms for an hour after lunch to have some quiet time to recharge.

3. Pick Activities You Know Will Work Well For Your Family

If you know that trying to hit up three Christmas events in one day is going to be a bad idea, plan ahead and choose one! You are allowed to choose what’s best for your family, and if you know you will end the day fighting because you felt obligated to do all the things, maybe it’s best to limit your commitments upfront. If it’s easier to invite friends over than go to several friends’ houses, do that!

Look over years past and write down what worked and what didn’t. Did your kids do better going out to an event or when you bought a few crafts from the dollar store and did them at home with friends? Don’t limit yourself to what you think everyone else is doing. The memories you make with your family are yours to choose. Make it a holiday they want to remember.

And lastly, this goes for taking care of yourself. Do those things that energize you or bring your family closer together, and limit those that cause stress.

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You’ve got this!