National Stress-Free Family Holidays Month, December 2022

"The holiday’s can be a major source of stress for a variety of reasons. Along with the holidays come unrealistic expectations for some. The holidays have become commercialized. In other words, there is pressure to spend money, purchase perfect gifts, spend time with people, and make a fabulous dinner. The good news is there is ways we can manage this. Read below for some tips to manage holiday expectations:

  • Keep in mind that holidays are not always about buying gifts. They can be about creating unforgettable memories with your loved ones that are much more memorable than a gift.
  • Create a realistic budget. Think ahead about the total amount of money you can spend this holiday season. Make sure you consider food, decorations, travel expenses, and gifts.
  • Come up with a plan. Don’t do your errands all at once. Make a schedule that spreads your errands out, so you don’t feel overwhelmed with an overload of tasks to complete.
  • Delegate tasks. Ask others for help when possible. Ask if someone can take the chicken out of the oven, fold laundry, or pick up a Walmart order. Besides, asking someone else for help may make them feel needed.
  • Take a break from social media. We often see others posting highlights of great dinners, fun holiday parties, or expensive gifts. Small glimpses of other’s lives can be deceiving and lead us to feel more pressure.
  • If you want to avoid crowds, find times that stores are less crowded. Typically, shopping centers are less crowded on weekday’s and weekday evenings. If this is feasible with your schedule, shop at these times versus the weekends.
  • Accept holiday invitations to events you are genuinely excited to attend. Politely decline those that cause stress.
  • Make time for yourself! Take a moment to take a couple of deep breaths. Make sure you recharge and are kind to yourself too."

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