Reducing Holiday Stress

Has stress taken the fun out of your holidays? Put the “jolly” back in your holidays and create cherished holiday memories with these proven strategies and checklist.

  1. Acknowledge that everything doesn’t need to be perfect
  2. Start holiday planning and preparations earlier
  3. Simplify wherever you can when planning and holding festive celebrations
  4. Stick to your budget
  5. Scale down your holiday plans
  6. Ponder what you really want to do to celebrate the holidays
  7. Talk with family members and friends about what they want to do
  8. Plan celebrations that express what the holidays truly mean for you
  9. Identify old family traditions. Which ones do you love?
  10. Opt to keep holiday traditions that bring you joy and happiness
  11. Give yourself permission to let go of old traditions that you aren’t fond of
  12. Establish start and stop times for parties
  13. Take shortcuts like buying pre-made pies to save time
  14. Examine options for pre-made meals or catering services
  15. Promptly ask for help when you need it
  16. Inform all prospective attendees of your holiday plans in advance
  17. Discuss challenging issues in advance with a person who tends to create tension
  18. Use place cards to assign seating in efforts to avoid tension-filled holiday gatherings
  19. Short-circuit disagreeable family discussions by interrupting or changing the subject
  20. Make a gift list, considering the amount of money you can comfortably spend
  21. Cut down your gift list
  22. Shop early and make notes about where to get low-cost gifts
  23. Ask for gift suggestions from the people on your gift list
  24. Consider giving gift cards to save time and precious energy
  25. Suggest a family name-drawing to reduce gift expenditures
  26. Reduce the amount of money you spend overall for the holidays and per gift
  27. Avoid making credit card purchases at holiday time
  28. Think about making homemade food gifts to save dollars at holiday time
  29. Shop early and place gifts in a gift drawer so you’ll be ready for the holidays
  30. Schedule time to be with your kids for some special holiday moments
  31. Keep the kids busy with holiday crafts. They’ll enjoy it and you can get more done.
  32. Take time daily to meditate, even if only for a few minutes

Stress-Free Holiday Traveling

  • Plan holiday travel itineraries in advance
  • Travel during off-peak hours
  • Start out well rested
  • Build in extra money to your travel budget in case of emergencies
  • Arrive at the airport or other station early to more easily take care of last minute challenges
  • Expect to run into snags
  • Pack light and carry on your bag, rather than checking it
  • Allow extra time to travel from place to place and expect heavy traffic
  • Send your gifts in advance or take gift cards
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Pack plenty of healthy snacks that travel well without refrigeration
  • Bring plenty of things to keep the kids happily occupied
  • Make waiting times go faster and regain a happy holiday feeling by meditating
  • Use portable meditation props, like a favorite image on your smart phone or tablet
  • Plan to arrive at your holiday destination rested and excited to share your holidays with loved ones

Meditation for Holiday Travel

  • Sit up straight and relax your shoulders
  • Let distracting thoughts dissolve away as you focus on deep breathing
  • Think about your destination and the loved ones you’ll be visiting
  • Remember that you’re surrounded by people making similar plans – just like you
  • Once you’re feeling relaxed and happy, let go of the details and enjoy that warm feeling
  • Imagine wrapping up those good feelings and presenting them to everyone around you
  • Gradually return your attention to the present moment
  • Remind yourself of the fellowship you felt while meditating

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