5 Tips to Survive Holiday Stress and savor the Christmas season by setting healthy boundaries for your Christmas budget, holiday weight loss, + self care!
Christmas is officially coming!! Wow, can you believe it? Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and family togetherness, but it can quickly morph into a stress-filled, emotionally charged, busy, hectic, and unhappy time. But it doesn’t have to be!
After thinking about my holiday season this year I came up with some of my best tips and practices, both big and small, for surviving holiday stress so you can actually relax and enjoy this Christmas season! This Christmas can be absolutely whatever you want it to be when we are intentional about filling it with things that bring us joy and joyful in setting up intentions that create peaceful moments rather than adding even more stress!!
5 Tips for Surviving Holiday Stress
1. Make a budget for your shopping.
Yes, a budget. I know…sigh…so unsexy and so un-Santa Clause, but yes, you definitely need one this time of year!
In your Christmas budget be sure to account for extra things like postage (for presents and Christmas cards), special food, presents, going out, travel expenses, and the little things like picking up fresh decorations and wrapping paper.
Your holiday will be SO much more relaxing if you know you aren’t going to be staring at huge credit card debt or dents in your savings in January. To learn more about paying down debt and living on a budget check out The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey!
2. Make a schedule.
I know, if there’s anything more unsexy than budgets, it’s schedules. It doesn’t have to be a minute by minute schedule, but you (and your significant other if you have one) need to sit down and talk about Christmas plans.
- When are you going to see which side of the family?
- When will you set aside time for your personal family traditions—new or old?
- When will you go shopping?
- What holiday parties, class outings, get togethers, and church services are already on the calendar
Another great idea is making a holiday “bucket list” that everyone in the family contributes one must-do holiday activity! Then use this bucket list to guide your priorities this Christmas seasons. Last-minute invitations and other stuff will always come up, but your bucket list can help you say no so you can say yes to the best and most important things in YOUR family!
3. Keep up with your exercise and healthy eating routines.
Yes, it’s Christmas. But Christmas is a day, not a month or two months!
I read a brilliant email from Rachel Cosgrove, author of Female Body Breakthrough (which I totally love!) about her approach to eating during Christmastime. Basically, the method is over the holidays I’m going to aim to eat healthy or “clean” 85-90% of the time. (Okay, it’s probably going to be more like 80%) Once you have your percentage calculate the days from now until January 1 then find 20 or 15% of that number. So that means between December 1 and 31, I have 18-19 meals to choose to make completely “treat” times.
I’m going to go through my calendar and circle those meals like my birthday dinner, all day Christmas and Christmas Eve, New Years Dinner, my work party, cooking baking etc. I’m going to literally circle those days on my calendar—eat what makes me happy and not worry about it. The rest of the time I’m going to eat normal and healthy. Those indulgent meals aren’t going to derail my fitness efforts.
4. Carve out some “you-time”.
Whether it’s getting up a little early to sip tea and read your Bible or doing some yoga after the kiddos are in bed or stealing into Starbucks for a peppermint mocha all on your own—take some time for yourself this season.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in creating the “perfect Christmas” for everyone else I forget to actually slow down and enjoy it myself. So take a breath, take a beat, take a bubble bath, and find your peace on earth.
RELATED: 15 TIPS TO BEAT THE WINTER BLUES
5. Keep things in perspective.
“There’s a reason for the season” is rather corny, but it’s true. Don’t lose sight of what Christmas is all about—God became a tiny baby, humbled Himself completely, because He wanted you. Wanted you to know He loves you and would do anything to be with you.My family always did this through a special Advent time together before bed.
Even if Christmas doesn’t mean that to you—it means SOMETHING to you. Family? Togetherness? Generosity? Service? Keep those values in perspective—help a family in need, cuddle your kids, drink a nice bottle of wine with a friend, watch It’s A Wonderful Life!
Also, if you’re curious about understanding the story of Jesus in the Bible I would totally recommend reading a children’s book called The Jesus Storybook Bible. It’s so beautifully explained and illustrated—simple enough for children, but touching still for adults and is loved by our kids and myself!
Christmas can be a busy and overwhelming time of year emotionally, physically, and financially, but it absolutely doesn’t have to be! While our American culture pushes us to MORE stress, more busy, more stuff; we can push back and embrace healthy boundaries around our time, money, emotions, and health this Christmas season!
If you like this post be sure to pin it for later here!