Most of us experience holiday stress in one form or another every year. This stress can be the result of large family gatherings, traveling in and out of California, the obligation to attend various social functions, the need to purchase gifts for multiple family members and friends, and much more.
Holiday stress is so common that many people think it’s normal. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Stress can have a negative mental and physical effect. It can diminish your ability to actually enjoy the holidays.
How To Reduce Holiday Stress
Although you may not be able to avoid the holidays in California, there are ways to reduce stress. The following are a few effective methods to manage stress and to reduce your stress levels so you can enjoy the holiday season:
- Ask for gift suggestions – If you’re planning on buying gifts for friends and family, don’t spend hours of your time trying to find the “perfect gift.” Stressing-out over what the perfect gift is and worrying about getting something they won’t like isn’t necessary. Just ask them for suggestions. It’s the act of giving a gift itself they will appreciate, after all.
- Don’t do everything yourself – Are you hosting a holiday dinner or party? Ask for help. For instance, have a family member or friend (or two) help with the meal prep so you don’t spend the entire night running around instead of enjoying yourself. You could even ask guests to bring small dishes to contribute to the meal.
- Don’t wait until the last minute – Whatever it is you’re doing, whether preparing a meal for a group of friends and relatives or shopping for gifts, give yourself plenty of time to do it. Waiting until the last minute is going to cause a massive amount of stress.
- Give yourself “you” time – Although the holidays are generally shared with friends and family, make sure you take time out to relax on your own. Do some yoga, exercise, or read a book; these can reduce your stress levels.