6 Surefire Ways to Erase Your Holiday Stress

We have the highest concentration of holidays in the last quarter of the year. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s your calendar is bound to be booked solid with family gatherings, company parties, and get-togethers with friends.

The holidays are supposed to be about family, friends, and appreciation. All too often, busy schedules, gift lists, and too much togetherness can lead to tension, stress, and the occasional melt-down. Remember these tips for staying sane through the holidays.

PLAN EARLY. Start thinking about the big day before it actually gets here so you don’t have to rush to get everything done at the last minute. Check in with guests, or your host, a few days ahead of time to confirm plans.

GET ORGANIZED. Make lists and use an appointment book to keep track of things to do and events to attend.SHARE TASKS. You really don’t have to do everything yourself. Share your “to do” list with others. Spend time with friends and family while you share tasks like decorating, cooking, or wrapping gifts. Invite people to bring their favorite covered dish to dinner.

KNOW YOUR SPENDING LIMITS. Lack of money is one of the biggest sources of stress during the holidays. Set a budget and don’t spend more than you’ve planned. It’s OK not to get the latest and greatest and it’s certainly OK to tell your child that a toy may cost too much. Don’t buy gifts that you’ll spend the rest of the year trying to pay off.

SAY NO. You are going to be approached to attend a TON of events. It’s OK to say “no” to those events that aren’t important to you. This will give you more time to focus on your “yes” events that you want to attend.

BE REALISTIC. Don’t be like Clark Griswald and pressure yourself to create the perfect holiday for your family. If you build in your mind what would be perfect, you stress yourself out when things seemingly go wrong. Instead, focus on the traditions that make the holiday special to you.