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holiday stress

7 Holiday Stress Relief Tips that ACTUALLY Work!

Does this time of the year stress you out?

You know, just before Thanksgiving and all of the Holiday sales…and shopping…and baking…and cooking…and decorating…and so on and so on.

There is a lot to do in these last 6 weeks of the year.

All the parties or dinners to attend. Or, fancy holiday meals to make and shopping to do.

However you spend the last month and a half of the year; I’m sure it’s a bit stressful (or, in other words, completely overwhelming)!

Luckily, you’re not alone!!

Well, not luckily, because it sucks being stressed out during this time of year.

Can’t we all just be like those people we see in movies where they have everything figured out and perfected, or at least make it look that way. (Like the woman in the movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting who had twins at the end. You know, the one wearing high heels through out her entire pregnancy, and was referred to as a magical pregnant unicorn, and delivered her babies by sneezing. Wouldn’t we all have loved to have had that happened!)

I’m right there alongside you; the pressure of the holidays on my shoulders.

Not only do we have to worry about what we have to do and where we have to be; there’s also the added stress of all the money we’re supposed to spend. This is completely overwhelming to those of us living paycheck to paycheck.

Where are we to come up with this extra money for gifts, food, and everything else?

Relax a sec, ok?

Easier said than done, I know, right?

Before your head goes into a spiral of despair; wondering ‘how this’, ‘when that’, ‘what do they want’, and ‘how much’. Take a breath and a few sips of water. How old are you again? You’ve gone through that many holiday seasons and you’re still intact!

So what if you can’t get your kids as many toys or games as they want. In all honesty, how long are they even going to enjoy them?

Let me tell you a little secret; when you’re kids are young like mine are, they don’t really care how many toys they get. And, they don’t have a good understanding of money and prices yet, either. So, you don’t have to get them the best, most expensive toys for their age group just because everyone else is doing it.

Isn’t that a nice thought! Just relax. You’ll be fine. You always are! But, just in case you need some extra help this season when you’re overly stressed; remember to be thankful for the seven things below.

1. The Smell of Your Coffee…

If you’re a coffee drinker then you understand.

It’s like aromatherapy. Just something about the smell of coffee is calming, even though drinking it supposedly has the opposite effect. (I don’t know if I’m strange or not, but I seem to think I need coffee to calm down when I’m stressed.)

But, when you have a nice warm cup of coffee with your favorite creamer added to it; it’s like cuddling up to a super soft and warm blanket that you can drink.

Don’t ever overlook this relaxation tip and the many benefits it has, such as reducing stress, calming nerves, and helping you become mentally prepared for the next task at hand!

2. Know This Time and Stress Will Pass

You know, you’ve been through this year after year; the holiday season comes and goes each of those years.

This can be sad, yes- if you’d rather the whole year be like the holidays because it’s such a wonderful time. But, I for one, am glad it’s only here for about 2 months at the end of the year. It gives us something to look forward to and prepare for.

Plus, who could afford to have the holidays all year round. Not only because of the gifts; but the food.

The food alone can set you back financially if the holidays are all year round. People would probably go into debt because of it; not to mention, our country would become even more obese if we ate all year what we do during the holidays.

So, be thankful that this holiday season does eventually end. And, when it ends, the stress that comes with it ends, as well!

3. The Fact That You’re Surrounded By Others

Sure, life may be a bit stressful this time of year. And, it may be exponentially more stressful based on the number of wonderful people you have let into your life.

The more people you have in your life the more events and holiday parties and get together’s you have. The more presents you need to buy, and the more time shopping, cooking, and baking you may have to do.

But, remember that they are wonderful people; people who are there for you and appreciate what you do (even if they don’t show it- like our kids).

They make the stress of this holiday season worth it. You get to light up their world just as they do for you.

This is the time you get to basically say ‘thank you’ to them for being in your life and making an impact. This is a big deal; to celebrate the holidays and the year you’ve had. That is why you can be so stressed out, but also know that it’s so worth it, at the same time!

4. Knowing That You Get to Be the First One to Eat the Christmas Cookies You Make

You know this is true!! If you make them, then you have to try them to make sure they’re good, right?

It doesn’t matter how many hundreds of times you’ve made them before; they need to be taste tested!

At least for me, they do. But that may be more so because if I don’t get any right then and there, there’s a chance I may not get any at all. Plus, I’m not going to put all that effort and time into making something and not eat them fresh out of the oven.

And, I know, it’s not good to eat as a way to reduce stress (it does help, though). But hey, it’s the holidays and calories don’t count as much this time of year, right? That’s what I was taught growing up, at least for all the cookies and special holiday food.

5. The Smile on Other’s Faces

If you have ever seen a child’s face on Christmas morning when they first see their Christmas stockings and presents; then you’ll know that everything you did to prepare for this day was worth it. It’s completely priceless.

Remember this the next time you feel so overwhelmed and want to just quit, or give up. Motivate yourself by imagining how happy they will be, or how much you’ll enjoy relaxing when you’re at those get together’s you helped put on; or relaxing when this season is over! 

As human beings, or mother’s to be exact, something makes us so happy (and almost relieved) when we see other people smiles. This is especially true when they smile because of something we did for them, even if we did it long ago and it’s finally coming to light. (Like teaching our kids to be appreciative of what they get, or not compare their presents with their siblings and then get upset.)

6. You Have the POWER

So, all I can think of now is the song from the newest Power Rangers Movie. (I’ve got the Power) And, what I mean by this is that you have the power to choose how stressed you get this holiday season.

Sure, things will happen that you have no control over; plans will be made and so will expectations.

If you have too much on your plate and you know it; you have the power (and the option!) to say no.

You have the power to respond to what happens and choose the best route possible. And you should respond to what comes your way; don’t just react to what happens.

If you hate going over to so and so’s home for get together’s because it’s drama filled and uncomfortable; tell them no. Don’t make up an excuse as to why you can’t go; they can always try to accommodate for the excuse you make up. Just say no; that you’re not going this year.

If every year you make everyone you work with cookies for the holidays and this year you have so much to do that you physically cannot make extra cookies, then don’t. Choose to not drive yourself crazy with stress this year.

7. That Funny Video Your Husband Showed You

We all love facebook and youtube, right?

There’s so many funny memes, pictures, and videos. Once in awhile when my husband finds one that’s hilarious, he’ll show me; he just can’t keep them to himself, and I’m glad! Usually the video is about how little kids are, or have you seen the one yet where the husband pretends to act like he’s the kid and the wife is the parent (of course it’d be that way, us mom’s always have to be the responsible ones.)

I’m telling you this because it’s important to have a good laugh every once in awhile. It reduces stress and can even help you clear your mind for a few moments. This is truly important for this time of year; you need to enjoy this holiday season, not just plan and prepare for it.

Everything will be Alright

Like I said above, you have done this holiday thing for enough years, and you always get through it, hopefully in more or less one piece.

This stress that you’re experiencing is only temporary. Hold on to these little things to remind yourself it’s all worth it, and to lighten the mood when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Remember this is a time to celebrate with those you choose to surround yourself with, and you have the power in you to say no to something if you’re already juggling too many things. Other’s will understand; you can’t do everything. In some circumstances stress can be a good thing; something to help you get your butt in gear and get moving. Just don’t do so much you’re overwhelmed or get burned out. There’s no need for that.

Enjoy your holiday season, and make sure you share these holiday stress relief tips with anyone you may know who needs a little reminder to enjoy life a little more instead of planning for it!

holiday stress

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