tips for less stress during the holidys

Reduce Stress this Holiday Season

The holiday season is soon upon us, and depending upon which store you walk into, it's already here! Most of us look forward to spending cherished moments with family and friends. At the same time, we also dread the thought of having to deal with an unwelcome guest – stress. The parties, shopping, planning, entertaining, cooking, baking, and cleaning present a dizzying array of demands on our schedules.

Avoiding stress this holiday season should be a high priority on your seasonal to-do list. Here are a few tips to take the stress out of the holidays and make them more enjoyable.

1 – Don't set the bar too high. You don't have to compete with holidays of years past, and you also don't have to be in a competition with others. Families change and time-honored traditions will as well. Pick a few to keep and find a few new ones to implement. Mix it up a bit and create new traditions for generations to come.

2 – Bury the hatchet. Don't allow long-held grudges to put undue stress on time together. Accept family members as they are; people will not always live up to your expectations. Deal with those situations at a more appropriate time. It's also good to understand that your guests will likely be feeling similar effects of holiday stress.

3 – Set a budget and stick to it. Money is one of the highest stress factors. Parties don't have to be extravagant, and gifts don't have to be glamorous. Holidays are more about time spent with family and friends. That's the real gift of the season. The memories made will last longer than any material object could.

4 – Plan ahead. Start planning now. Nothing adds more undue stress to the situation than waiting until the last minute. Map out your menus, create shopping lists, and shop ahead of the crowds.This will prevent last-minute high stress scrambling to buy forgotten items. This applies to gift-giving too. One sure-fire way to add stress to the holidays is searching for the perfect gift and finding nothing but empty shelves!

5 – Just say no. We tend to always say yes…. to everything. Keep in mind there are only 24 hours in the day and seven days in a week. We cannot possibly attend every holiday event or participate in every activity. It's ok to prioritize and say no sometimes. Don't feel guilty either. That party you turn down, you'd likely not be very happy at anyway with a full schedule.

6 – Protect yourself. Inviting friends over? Nothing adds more stress (or embarrassment) then when someone falls in your home. Then there's also your beloved dog Fido who becomes stressed himself with all the strange people around, and he lashes out and bites someone. These are things you may not think about or want to think about during the holidays, but its reality. Pick an independent insurance agent and protect yourself with personal liability insurance.

Don't let the holidays become a time of dread. Instead, take steps to prevent stress. With a little planning, you can find peace and joy during the holidays. Check that stress off your list today!