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5-tips-for-reducing-holiday-stressReduce holiday stress and have a happier holiday!

Parties, gifts, dinners, school concerts…. and more! The Christmas season is a busy time, and for many, that means a stressful time. If you find yourself dreading the holidays instead of looking forward to them, then this article is for you!

Here are some ways that you can help reduce your holiday stress:

5 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays Stress-Free

1. Prioritize

Develop a list of the things you would like to do, then prioritize your list. There may be items at the bottom that you can drop from the list. The purpose is to enable you to get the things done that you really want to do and get the most joy from the limited amount of time you have to spend with family, friends and coworkers. Your priorities may shift from year to year, and that is ok!

2. Avoid PMS

I’m not talking about that PMS, but rather ‘Perfect Mom Syndrome’. Do what you want to do and don’t commit to too much. Don’t worry about what other people are doing – just do what will make you and your family happy! Resist the temptation to take on too many responsibilities that may cause you undue stress. Is it necessary to bake enough goodies for the neighborhood, or are you okay with just whipping up the occasional batch of cookies? Christmas will come, and Christmas will go, regardless of whether you baked ten dozen cookies or not! And you know what? Most people won’t miss what you don’t do.

3. Cut Back

Financial stress can ruin the holidays for many people. It is easy to get carried away when you are getting gifts for those that you love – and feel the stress of knowing you cannot really afford all of them! Make a list and a budget and stick to it! Some people have vowed to use cash only, and when the cash is spent, that is it. Do your kids really need those extra gifts? Likely not. The added bonus is you will not have a financial hangover come January.

4. Volunteer

I remember one woman telling me that one of the best ways for her to gain much needed perspective over the holidays is for her and her family to volunteer some time at a local shelter helping to prepare and serve a holiday meal. They got a very good feeling from helping others, and it taught their children about helping others in their community and the real spirit of giving. An added bonus was the way it helped reduce her stress about making the ‘perfect’ Christmas – they were all more thankful for just being able to be together and enjoy the things that many of us take for granted.

5. My Favourite Things

I know my favorite things about Christmas are not the opening of gifts or pressure to have all the decorations just so. It’s that time on Christmas Eve where we all sing Carols and play silly games; it’s the family being together over a great dinner that we all help prepare; it’s the quiet days after Christmas where we can relax and connect with those we love. To me, that’s Christmas.

Blessings to you and those you love this holiday season!

For more from Anne, visit Maternity Corner.

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