De-stress Yourself This Christmas
Should the holidays be a time of stress?
Christmas in the Western world is undoubtedly the most festive time of year. It’s the time when most people decrease their normal activities so they can spend time with families and friends. However, with the commercialization of Christmas, this wonderful celebration has been growing more and more stressful, and if we are not careful, what should be a refreshing, relaxing time of year could easily leave us feeling drained physically, emotionally and yes, financially.
Ways to de-stress
So, what can we do to avoid that? Should we ignore Christmas altogether? Unless you want to be a Scrooge, here are some ways you can enjoy the season and still have your energy and sanity when it is over.
1. Plan ahead. Decide how much you can afford to spend on gifts and begin shopping early. This has several advantages: Items are less expensive in the off season. If you wait for Black Friday, you may not really find bargains, just crowds. If you like to shop online, you can get standard shipping which costs less than if you have to rush ship at the last minute. Once you have your gifts, begin wrapping them and putting them away.
2. Re-gift. With the economy still lagging, many people will welcome ways to save money. Re-gifting is a good way to save at the office. Many of us have things in our cabinets and closets we may have used just once, or maybe never. Instead of everyone bringing a $20 gift for exchange, why not let everyone bring something they no longer need?
3. Recycle your decorations. I prefer live Christmas trees, but it’s not necessary to buy new decorations every year. Spray paint, artificial snow, glitter, some greenery can work wonders for some of your older decorations and for those pine cones you and your family gather from the backyard.
What part of the holiday celebrations do you enjoy the most?
You don't have to do it all
1. Use your good china. Christmas is not a time for paper cups and plates. You may want to save on clean-up time, but disposables fill up your trash bin –and landfills –fast. What better way to show family and friends how much you care than by bringing out your special china. Some of them may be good conversation starters too.
2. Enlist help. Ask each guest to bring their favorite dish. Most people will be happy to do this as it gives them a chance to show off their culinary skills. This way you don’t have to toil all day in the kitchen preparing the whole meal. You may even swap recipes!
3. Decline gracefully. You don’t have to attend all the parties you will be invited to. Accept those you know you’ll enjoy and decline those you have no interest in. Spend as much time as you can with your family.
4. Don’t be a perfectionist. Yes, it’s Christmas time and you want everything to be special, but be realistic. Think of what it would cost in time, energy and money if you were to knock yourself out doing all the things you would like to do to have your home looking like a magazine page. How would you feel when Christmas is over?
When the holidays are over, reality awaits - work, bills and family commitments. If you spread yourself too thin, you may not be able to cope with these things. By following some of the above tips, chances are you will survive to enjoy the holidays again next year.