While the holidays are a special time of the year for many, it can also be the most stressful. Between shopping, wrapping, saving money, seeing friends, making plans with family, and so much more, balancing (or blending) it all can be hard. But, with American stress levels already at an all-time high, it’s essential that we are keenly aware of how we deal with everything that is thrown at us over next 40 or so days.
Here are some of my favorite ways to manage the stress that comes along with the holidays:
1. ADOPT A “HOLIDAY MANTRA”
As author and executive coach M.J. Ryan explains, mantras “help you become consciously aware of what you’re doing—and serve as a reminder of what it is that you want to do”. So, why not adopt a mantra that applies to the entire holiday season where things are extra hectic, busy, and stressful? If you have a hard time putting yourself first during this time of the year, why not try something along the lines of “Me first”, “No is an acceptable answer”, “I can and should put my well-being first”, or even a question like “Is this something I really want to do?” Repeat this mantra to yourself whenever you need a reminder of what is important to you right now.
2. AVOID THE COMPARISON TRAP—STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
The “the comparison trap” is more dangerous during the holiday season than any other time of the year. Instagram, Facebook, and more take us into the living rooms, parties, and dinner tables of the people you know (and others you don’t actually know but follow anyway), so make it a priority to limit your time on social media. My favorite way to do this: set a time limit each time you open an app or new browser. Say to yourself “I am only allowed to scroll until X time” and stick to that rule. Another helpful tool: the new Screen Time feature on your iPhone. If you’ve updated your phone recently, you will have this feature, which allows you to set time restrictions on certain apps (and much more). Enable this feature by tapping Settings > Screen Time > App Limits > Add Limits.
3. SET A BUDGET
Money is a hard topic for most, but things can get extra tense when you have to spend money on gifts, events, travel, and more during the holidays. The most effective way I deal with this stressor is to set a budget. I set a monetary amount for each person I have to buy for and every event I have to attend. I add these numbers together and decide how much money I need to take from each paycheck to make this happen—and stick to it! (The earlier you make this budget, the better.)
4. PUT YOUR WELL-BEING FIRST
While putting yourself first is important each and every day of your life, it’s one that is even harder to put into practice at the time of the year when your schedule is jam packed and your to-do list(s) is longer than ever. Remind yourself that you can and should be #1 in your life—not just for your own well-being, but for those in your life too. As I said in my post “Make Yourself a Priority”:
when you put yourself first, you allow yourself to be the best version of you. And, when you’re the best version of you, you will also be the best husband/wife/friend/coworker/family member you can be.
Got any helpful tips for making it through the craziness of the holidays? I’d love to learn from you and so would other readers, so be sure to share them in the comments below or with fellow With Cheryl fans on Instagram and Twitter!