There is plenty of stress to deal with during the best of times – but load on the turkey, presents, relatives, and decorating, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Fortunately there are some simple tips for handling the onslaught of holiday responsibilities.
Don’t put life on hold. Added holiday stressors can push some people over the edge. Maintain regular meal, exercise, and other schedules to ensure strength of body and mind through the season.
Streamline holiday meals. If cooking at home, plan ahead with an easy-to-execute menu, some eager sous chefs, and a stocked kitchen with everything you need to pull things off. Guests are always willing to bring appetizers, desserts, drinks and other holiday favorites – so let them! And a pot luck is never a bad idea.
Go with the flow. Cancelled flights, grid-lock traffic, lost luggage, burnt turkey, sold-out gifts are all the sort of unexpected frustrations that can lead to holiday meltdown. When inevitable setbacks occur, try taking a deep breath (or two), accept the things beyond your control, and adapt and adjust as necessary.
Avoid family conflict. Enjoy spending time with relatives from across the country, and wait until after the holidays to address old grievances with family members.
Be realistic about spending. Try not to the let the ‘spirit of giving’ lead to insurmountable debt. Stick to a budget that is within your means. Set up a family gift exchange, in which each family member could choose a gift for one loved one ahead of time.
Find alternatives. Build an army of snowmen by the sidewalk with the kids instead of paying for expensive activities. Hand-made gifts and cards are fun, inexpensive substitutes to trying to navigate the holiday rush at shopping centers.
Stay well. Rest often. Take a day off if necessary. Get plenty of sleep. Cut colds off early with vitamins or doctor visits in order to feel ready to go for the festivities.
Have fun. With a little bit of planning and some luck, the holidays don’t have to be a drag. Don’t let stress override that time of year to enjoy loved ones, celebrations, and the break from the normal routine. Slow down and enjoy the season.
If holiday stress seems overwhelming, contact ACI Specialty Benefits—your employee assistance program—and receive more personalized assistance.