Your checklist for a stress-free Christmas
You have your heart set on the perfect Hallmark Christmas: twinkling lights, Christmas cookies, and plenty of mistletoe. But then your uncle starts talking politics, your boss asks you to work overtime, and you realize that you still have no idea what to get your S.O.
No doubt: the most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful time of the year! But before you reach for that extra glass of eggnog, check out our guide to surviving the holidays. We’ll restore your merry-and-bright attitude in no time!
Set realistic expectations
Holidays don’t have to be perfect to be enjoyable! If you set expectations that are too high, you’ll end up feeling resentful and stressed out. This is doubly true when it comes to family dynamics. If you’ve never gotten along with your sibling, don’t expect your relationship to improve just because you’re wearing a Santa hat.
Make sure you’re setting realistic expectations of your kids, too. Because if they get overwhelmed, you’ll be looking at a major meltdown. If you’re catching flights with the little ones, make travel days as smooth as you can for the whole fam by knowing and respecting their limits.
Skip the gift stress
You found the perfect gift for mom… but couldn’t board with a snowglobe. And after all the time and tape spent wrapping, TSA unwrapped your gifts to check the contents. All understandable, and all totally avoidable.
- When it comes to flying with gifts, make sure you know what you can or can’t bring, pack carefully, and believe us when we say: bubble wrap.
Make time for yourself
Easier said than done, we know! But downtime is one of the keys to surviving the holidays with your sanity intact. Even if you’re the social butterfly of your friend group, you need the occasional break. Schedule it into your day and make it happen.
Pro Tip: Tell everyone you’ll be wrapping gifts and lock your bedroom door. Then nap, scroll through social media, or watch your favorite holiday movie. We won’t tell!
Get enough sleep
Our *completely scientific* water cooler survey results are in: everyone is cranky when they don’t get the right amount of sleep. And for most of us, that’s roughly 7 hours of sleep.
Unfortunately, the season’s merry events take their toll: not enough sleep one night, followed by endless rounds of the snooze button the next.
No, we’re not saying you have to leave every single party early. But maybe just skip the back-to-back (to-back!) events. Or shorten your holiday movie marathon by a couple of hours. Then wake up at your usual time the next day, fresh-eyed and ready to take on your aunt’s infamous fruitcake.
Office parties and ice skating and cookie baking and Christmas movies and… Even though everything sounds like fun, it’s impossible to do it all. And you’ll end up more frazzled than festive if you try.
Pick the activities that you’ve been looking forward to since last Christmas, and make time for those. Then say “no” to schedule conflicts and juggling events, so you can be fully present for the holiday events that matter most to you.
Move your body
A few Christmas cookies at the office party and an extra peppermint-tini with the crew and suddenly your Ugly Christmas Sweater is just a bit too snug. Yikes! The solution: find time in your hectic schedule to hit the gym. Your body will thank you. And so will your mind, when you hit that “runner’s high.”
For bonus points, take your workouts outdoors. Ice skating, skiing, even just a brisk hike. The mix of endorphins and fresh air will have you feeling like yourself again, we promise.
Even if you follow allllll of our tips, chances are you’ll still feel like Scrooge from time to time. When that happens, spoil yourself, even just a little bit, with your favorite mood lifters. Whether that means FaceTiming your bestie or adding extra marshmallows to your hot chocolate is up to you!
Surviving the holidays is about what feels right to you, after all.
Catching a holiday flight? Fun! Paying extra or overweight baggage fees? Not fun. Unfortunately, between winter clothes and Christmas gifts, your suitcase will fill up fast.
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