This time of year seems to be stressful for everyone. Whether you are celebrating, Christmas, Hanukah, or Ramadan, there are special meals, guests and Stress!
Here are some ways to manage.
1. Don’t overspend. Don’t use credit cards unless you can pay them off in January. If you do, you will spread December stress into the New Year. If you have already extended your credit, resolve not to do so next year. You can open a Christmas Club account at your bank and save whatever your credit card payment was each month so that you will have the money set aside for next year.
2. Don’t have unrealistic expectations. Something is sure to go wrong. Don’t let it ruin your celebration. It will only be ruined if you allow it to be.
3. Give to charity. If you can afford it, give money/and or gifts to reputable organizations such as Salvation Army, Angel tree, Toys for Tots, church food and/or toy drives, Red Cross, or local women’s shelter. If you can’t afford to give money or gifts, give time. Volunteer to sort and/or wrap donations, deliver packages to recipients, staff a selection/drop-off center, serve a meal to a shelter. Giving makes you feel good as well as benefitting the recipient.
4. Share. Invite someone who can’t be with family to share your celebration.
5. Exercise. One of the best stress busters around!!
6. Allow yourself to be sad that loved ones can’t be present, whether they have passed away or can’t make the trip. After allowing yourself some time to be sad, focus on the positive, like all the holidays you did get to share with them or the future holidays you expect to have. Take time to relax.
7. Delegate. Let other family members bring dishes, use pre-made food, and ask others to help with the set-up and/or clean up.
8. Be flexible. Compromise when necessary.
9. Don’t overindulge in alcohol. If you do, use a designated driver, call a cab, or don’t leave until you’ve sobered up.
Doing these things should help you have a safer, more pleasant holiday season. Enjoy!!