Woman in a flannel shirt holding up a cut out of the word "joy"

‘Tis the season for cheer, but being inundated with messages to buy more, give more, and do more can quickly turn cheer to stress. So we put together a list of a few ways to ditch the holiday stress and embrace your inner elf!

#1 Set budgets and stick to them.

When making your gift lists and Holiday plans it’s easy to overspend. Gifting, traveling, hosting parties, bringing host gifts, and taking the kids on Holiday activity adventures all add up. A depleted bank account is an added stress you don’t need in what is supposed to be a joyous time. Set yourself up for a stress free Holiday by setting a budget for gifts, travel, hosting, and events. Then, most importantly, stick to it. 

#2 Let go of expectations and go with the flow!

There is no such thing as perfect. The tree might be lopsided, the cookies might burn, dinner might be late, and the kids might catch you putting presents under the tree! Let go of the idea of perfection. Hand out those cookies as the new gourmet “charred chocolate chip” recipe you found. Hide the lopsided part of the tree in the back. Pass out a snack and tell everyone it’s their hors d’oeuvres. Tell the kids Santa was running late so he asked you to help out. Done. Your Holiday isn’t perfect, but neither is anyone else’s.

# 3 Chuck New Year’s Resolutions and set small monthly tasks that will bring big results.

Grand resolutions are too hard to live up to in a short amount of time, so make the grand plan your year end goal. Then set small tasks each month or every few weeks to break it up into manageable tasks. Celebrate each small accomplishment and soon you’ll be celebrating the big achievement.

#4 Pick a few cherished or fun events to attend over the Holidays and skip the rest without regret!

Does Aunt Ethel’s family dinner stress you out? Skip it. It may shock half the family, but let them feel their shock. You’ll be stress free on party day. Choose only a few of your favorite events to attend and decline the rest. Send your regrets and a lovely note to the hosts. 

#5 Take time out for yourself, but spend time with your nearest and dearest, too.

Neglecting your own needs this time of year is common. Schedule time for some self-care and for things you enjoy! Get your nails done or book a massage. Spend time on your hobbies. Take a bath or meditate each night to relax away the day. Keep up with your fitness or yoga classes. While you are taking care of you, make sure to spend time with those you love. Family, friends, and pets can bring us immeasurable joy. 

#6 Stressing out over baking, gifting, or any other holiday task you find menial? Delegate them!

Find a way to do the task, but skip doing the task!  Order from the bakery, buy gift cards or shop online, let the kids do all the decorating, get it catered or make it potluck. Don’t stress out over tasks you hate. There is always someone to pay or ask for help!

Be well!