Some evil person posted this Elf meme on their Facebook feed the other day and I wanted to unfriend them but they are related to me and I like them.
Unfriending people can add additional stress at the holidays, and this article is all about holiday de-stressing.
In keeping with the 12 Days of Christmas, I am proposing 12 Steps to De-stress for the Holidays:
Step 1: To begin take a deep cleansing breath.
Step 2: After you remember to start breathing again, I want you to say these words, “Happiness is the greatest gift I can give. A stressed out me does not make a holiday happy. I will not add unhappiness to my holidays.”
See. Don’t you feel better?
Step 3: Write down one gift you will give yourself. (This does not have to be a material thing.)
Step 4: Make a list of all the other people for whom you want and/or need to get gifts. (These do not have to be material things.)
Step 5: Make a calendar of all events you KNOW will absolutely be on your agenda.
Step 6: Repeat Steps 1 & 2.
Step 7: Establish a budget.
- How much will you spend on each person?
- How much do you plan to give to your church or charities?
- How much should you plan to spend on extra party foods and drinks?
- How much are your travel costs?
Add those costs up.
Step 8: Repeat Steps 1 & 2.
Step 9: Create a strategy for gift buying. Start when you can and buy gift by gift. If you tackle your list one trinket at a time, you will reduce your chances of being overwhelmed with too much to buy in too little time. Doing this will also save money. It is proven that impulse purchases cost you more in the long run adding to your holiday woes. Check out this article about overspending on gifts. https://www.thesimpledollar.com/do-you-overspend-on-gifts-six-things-to-think-about-before-striking-again/
Step 10: Keep your list and calendar handy. You never know when an unexpected invitation will come your way or the perfect gift will present itself to you. Keeping your calendar close prevents you from over-scheduling or the dreaded canceling on someone. Nothing is worse at the holidays than be too rushed or cancelled on at the last minute. A readily available shopping list will help you keep track of what you have already purchased and prevent you from over buying for one person and completely forgetting another. You can also use your gift list as a running total so as to stay within your established budget.
Step 11: Remember to include some of your holiday favorite traditions in your schedule. Prioritizing what is important to you will make it a lot easier to say “No” to the unnecessary and stressful invitations.
Step 12: Don’t forget the best gifts of time, love, and thoughtfulness. (I know you were thinking I was going to say tenderness there 😉 )
- Put energy into planning and organizing before the holidays are already here.
- Give yourself and those you love the gift of quality time and events that result in happy holiday memories.
- The thoughtfulness put into planning your events and the gifts you give will ring out long past the new year.
- Let your message of love for others and yourself be the one that is heard loudest, not the moaning and groaning of being run over by another holiday train.
De-stressing now will hopefully result in more merriment for you and yours before, during, and after the upcoming holidays. May your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be without a massive meltdown or financial fiasco. Ho, ho, ho!
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. It’s okay to reinsert Step 1 and Step 2 anywhere in the de-stressing process.