Um…so are you saying there really is a way to avoid being completely stressed over the holidays? There will always be stressful moments around the holidays, but you certainly can get through it and that’s what I’m here to tell you about today. I’m familiar with holiday-related meltdowns. Been there! I’ve learned from experience what works and what doesn’t work. 

My goal this year is to make it through the holidays without a meltdown. I’ll let you know if I can do it. I came real close last year! Really, I did! It was a learning experience and I’m more prepared for the Holidays this year. Yay me! Here are my top tips for avoiding holiday meltdowns:

Practice Gratitude to Reduce Stress

When it comes to the holidays, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work, at least for me. Now there are obvious things like alcohol, chocolate, therapy, and the best one yet is a one-way ticket somewhere else! 

But let’s be serious. We all need some help along the way. If we can stay present and grateful, we will be able to go through this magical time of year with less stress. 

I have been practicing gratitude with more intention, which eases my stress. What does that look like? I make sure I write in my gratitude journal and take time to appreciate the important things – big and small. 

When I have challenging moments, I try to find what I can be grateful for. The gift I ordered didn’t arrive on time? I’m grateful I can give gifts to loved ones! 

It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of the month, but reminding yourself to be grateful can make a big difference. 

Make Lists to Reduce Stress

This time of year, we all make lots of lists, whether it’s a shopping list for presents or a list for the grocery store so we can cook a nice meal for family or friends. Maybe we have a list for who all we need to get presents for yet. We have lists of what needs to get done. It keeps us organized. Keeping yourself organized and up to date will reduce your stress during this time. 

I like to keep my lists in my purse or on my phone. I still like paper and pen but many people like to use the Notes app on their phones. It’s a great app to use if you like to share your lists with family or friends. Everyone is in the know. That is one big stress reliever right there! 

I used to use this app a lot in the past, but haven’t used it as much lately. I’m rethinking my list-making because I like the share feature on the Notes app. It helps me get friends and family on board with completing my list. I can stay organized and get help easily if I need to. That is a win-win right there! 

You can be grateful for yourself because you made lists and kept yourself organized. 

Schedule Yourself For A Stress-Free Holiday

I am a planner and I like a schedule. Always have. 

Schedules help to avoid the chaos which aids in stress reduction! Less chaos = less stress. There will be hiccups along the way but if you can maintain a good schedule you should be able to adapt quickly and avoid a meltdown. 

Again, be grateful for yourself – you gave yourself a schedule! You kept yourself on track!

Significant tip: Organization is key for stress reduction.

Read my blog, Michelle’s Recommendations for Stress Management. I talk about how important being organized is.

Stay organized to reduce stress
Sometimes, you just have to sit down and take a break!

Ask For Help To Reduce Your Stress

Who says you must navigate the holiday stress on your own? Ask a friend, a significant other or a family member for help. 

It can be a shopping trip for last-minute gift ideas. You could call them to vent about your stressors. Just getting things off your chest can be a huge relief. 

Last year, I had a friend come over and we had a wrapping “party”. She brought some drinks, we listened to Christmas music and we wrapped presents. She put beautiful bows on them for me. After we did that, my Christmas spirit was uplifted and I managed to enjoy the rest of the season. 

Be grateful to those who help you during this time. When you focus on the good, there is no room for the not so good. 

Change Your Expectations to Reduce Stress

It is such a crazy time of year. People are running here and there for parties, concerts, children’s activities, gift purchasing, and grocery shopping to name a few. We still have all our usual responsibilities during this time on top of all the extra duties during this season. 

People are running out of energy and losing patience. Just expect it. Try to do something simple and nice for them. I think an understanding smile would go a long way! It can be something as simple as opening a door or offering your cart to someone when you are done. Remember, it’s the little things that mean the most!

Be grateful for the small acts others pay you during this time. Write down your gratitude when somebody holds the door for you!

Embrace Christmas Magic 

It really is the most magical time of year! What do YOU like about this time of year? 

Here are a few of my favorite things:

Christmas decorating

My house decked out in lights and memories 

Christmas music (It’s fun and beautiful) 

Giving gifts

Time with family and friends

Watching Christmas movies (I get teased a lot for this)

So when it is cold and snowing, I remember how grateful I am that it is also beautiful with all the lights and joyful music. When I get frustrated with all the hustle and bustle and angry people, I am grateful for the family and friends I have in my life who make it even better. 

I focus on all the parts of the holiday season that bring me joy. 

You CAN Reduce Your Stress

I’ve given you some suggestions on how to get through the holiday stress and avoid a meltdown. The biggest thing you can do is focus on the good and be grateful for it. If you are focusing on that, it leaves no room for the negative to get in!! 

Wishing each of you a happy, healthy, and less stressful Christmas season!