The holiday season sets the stage for joyful giving and brand new memories. Unfortunately, it can also promote stress, especially when we are saddled with overwhelming responsibilities and unrealistic expectations. To ease your burden during the holiday season, consider these strategies for a more streamlined, stress-free experience.
Check in with family and friends
Traveling to visit family and friends who do not live with you can increase your chances of spreading COVID-19 or the flu, but, thanks to technology, you don’t have to be alone! Using video conferencing, such as zoom, to spend time with family and friends is a great, safe alternative. If you are considering traveling for the winter holidays, talk to your loved ones beforehand, and if you decide to travel, follow the CDC’s guidelines by wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often. It may be helpful to review the CDC’s Domestic Travel Guidance.
Shop online whenever possible
Very few things are as stressful as driving from store to store at the last minute searching for the ideal gift. Luckily, nowadays you can do most of your shopping on the internet. Due to increased demand, however, you may face extended shopping times. This is why it’s so important to start your online shopping spree as soon as possible. Not only will this make the holidays less stressful, it can help you sidestep the high cost of expedited shipping.
Buy a lot of wrapping paper
Make sure you have plenty of supplies to help you wrap all of your gifts. This includes boxes, ribbon and tape. You should also consider wrapping every gift the same day you buy it, so you won’t have to rush to wrap all your presents at once. Between the usual shipping costs and COVID-related delays, you might also want to swap physical gifts to virtual gifts for your friends and family. Gift cards, subscription boxes, and online services can function as great gifts to your loved ones.
Prioritize your health
When we are feeling overwhelmed by seasonal obligations, we tend to neglect ourselves. You will be able to manage your stress a lot better if you get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet. You should also prioritize your health by honoring appointments with your doctor and local dentist, as well as continue to practice everyday prevention of Covid-19 by following the CDC guidelines. While it’s easy to get focused on pleasing other people during the holidays, it’s just as important to think about yourself and your long-term health.
Don’t spend too much
Money is a huge stressor that can turn a joyful holiday season into a disaster. Be sure to honestly assess your financial limitations. Once you know exactly how much you can afford to spend, stay within your budget, even if you happen to run across that perfect gift at the very last second.
Accept what comes
We all want our holiday experiences to be happy. In the real world, however, there is no way to plan for illnesses, emergencies and plain old bad moods. We are all adapting to a new normal during the coronavirus pandemic. Do your best to stay safe and maintain reasonable expectations for your holiday season. If things don’t go perfectly, try to turn the page and keep a positive attitude. By keeping a practical perspective, you can minimize stress.