Trade Holiday Stress for Joy (ditch anxiety and depression, too!)

ditch holiday stress and enjoy the holidays

Holiday stress can ruin your mood. This guide will help you fill your holidays with joy. 

The holidays can be a wondrous time filled with spiritual meaning and reunions with loved ones. Despite the merriment, holidays can cause a great deal of tension. This year, trade holiday stress for holiday joy by using these simple tips.

Let Go of Expectations

Be curious. Think like a scientist. You'll be so busy trying to figure out why your turkey is still underdone after four hours in the oven that you won't have time to get frustrated.

Appreciate Surprises. It might seem like a good idea to make a wish list of the gifts you want to receive for the holidays. But, if you always tell people what you want to receive, you might as well go out and buy it yourself. Take pleasure in being surprised by whatever comes your way.

Increase your flexibility. Embrace the spirit of flexibility and realize that you can be happy and at peace in all kinds of circumstances. Be open to spending New Year's at the beach instead of at home.

Plan ahead. Encountering the same obstacles over and over can be one of the most challenging things about the holidays. A little foresight will help you avoid overcrowded highways and airports.

Accept Your Current Conditions

Practice compassion. Maybe you're annoyed by people cutting in line at the cash register or relatives who ask the same intrusive questions every year. Try to put yourself in their shoes and be more understanding of their anxieties.

Laugh more. Spot the humor in stressful holiday situations. Instead of getting upset when you're unable to find those paper napkins with dancing reindeer that you bought on sale after Christmas last year, just laugh and move on. You can still get a kick out of them when they turn up in time for a family barbecue in August.

Eat light. Start the New Year with no regrets about gaining weight. Eat vegetables and drink mineral water at parties. Limit your portions when it comes to holiday chocolates and buttered rolls.

Shop less. Leave the mall and turn off the computer. Shorten your list and resolve to buy fewer gifts.

Simplify Your Plans

Decorate mindfully. When decorating, pull out the favorite things you love to have around you. Don't overdo it. You'll thank yourself when it comes time to put everything away.

Streamline your schedule. Pick the activities you enjoy most and scratch the other events off of your calendar. You'll have more fun at the ice skating rink if you're not trying to squeeze it in between a morning movie and an evening concert.

Search for free entertainment. Keep an eye out for free events in your community and browse online for movies to watch and crafts to create. You can have a great time without spending a cent.

Watch TV selectively. Television commercials create pressure to buy more, so turn the TV off unless there is something extra special your family really wants to watch. Spend more time talking with each other.

Distance Yourself From Materialism

Consider gifts carefully. It really is the thought that counts. Your former college roommate may love old postcards of Paris that you find at a fleamarket more than any expensive trinket from a fancy department store.

Do it yourself. From house decorations to gifts, items that you make yourself save money and feel more special. Gather twigs and berries from a wreath. Give your father a scarf that you knitted yourself.

Share your time. Go visit your grandparents at their retirement community. Invite your neighbors over for an evening of holiday music and games.

Give to Others

Support charities. Volunteer at your local food kitchen or nursing home. Be as generous as you can with your year-end charitable donations.

Spread kindness. Some of the best gifts cost very little or nothing at all. Tell your friends and family how much they mean to you. Bake an extra loaf of bread to take into the office.


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