Don’t be one of the sick people walking through my office doors in December and January. Fight holiday fatigue by pacing yourself.
Go to bed earlier. Reserve a few nights during December to do absolutely nothing. Make the entire family stay in, or go out with your spouse for a relaxing dinner. No parties, or gift wrapping or shopping. Just be.
Watch what you eat, too. Overeating affects sugar levels, which affects our energy. Give yourself permission to eat all those holiday goodies a few days a week, but on the other days, eat how you normally would. Your body is already under enough stress, it doesn’t need a sugar overdose.
This might be the biggest cause of stress during the holidays. Families can be difficult, and the anticipation of having to deal with those difficult relationships during the holidays causes way more stress than it’s worth.
Christmas isn’t the time to solve family disputes. It’s your time to enjoy your family. Set boundaries with those difficult relatives. This could mean not inviting them to stay with you over Christmas. Or it could mean that your family skips out on the big family meal this year.
That may sound extreme to you, but when it comes to the holidays, you can make them what you want them to be. If you want them to be fun and peaceful and restful, it might mean putting your foot down with certain family members. In fact, I would even say it’s your obligation to protect your family from those difficult relatives.
Get together with them later in the year. Reserve Christmas for joy and harmony.
Spending a lot of money during the holidays might feel good on Christmas Day as you watch your loved ones open gifts, but in January, when the bills come in—along with the stress—it’s a different story.
Overspending at Christmas is our problem, not our kids’.
As someone who loves giving gifts, I understand this struggle. But overspending at Christmas is our problem, not our kids’. The reality is most kids like a gift on Christmas Day but have completely forgotten about it a week later. That’s why over the years I’ve simplified my gift-giving. I set a budget for each of my kids and buy them one gift a piece. And now that my kids are grown, I encourage them to do a gift exchange, so they don’t have to buy something for everyone in the family.
The holidays are also a great time to nurture your kids’ creativity by having them make gifts for family members. Not only is the gift personal and thoughtful, but it also engages their imagination and self-expression.
I’ve learned that having less under the tree often makes more room for joy in our home.
Parents, don’t let the holidays drag you down. Confront what causes you stress, deal with it, and enjoy this season with the ones you love.