Holiday stress is an issue for everyone, especially for parents. Not only do parents experience the typical holiday worries, they also have the added stress of buying presents for kids and keeping them entertained while on holiday break from school. How can parents stay calm during the holiday season? Gift yourself less stress by following these four tips:
1. Stick to a Budget
Whether you’re shopping for party favors, seasonal home décor or gifts for your loved ones, the holidays can be an expensive time of year. Financial worries are one of the biggest stressors for parents, so it’s important to set a budget ahead of time – and stick to it. Determine how much you want to spend this month and lay out how much of the budget will go where. Talk to your children up front to set their expectations for gifts. If money is tight, consider making handmade presents or complete crafts to use as decorations throughout the home.
2. Make Time for Yourself
Between party planning, present wrapping and keeping the kids busy, it can be easy to forget about taking time to care for yourself. Set aside time during each day to do something personal, whether it’s exercising, reading a book or enjoying lunch with a friend. Having those moments to recharge can help keep you from feeling overwhelmed by everything else going on.
3. Set Priorities
Create a list with all of the tasks you hope to complete this month and start working on it as soon as you can. Work through tasks daily to keep yourself from having too much to do at the last minute. By making sure these items are prioritized, you’ll feel confident that you’re getting the most crucial tasks done first. This alone can take a lot of weight off of your shoulders.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
If your calendar is quickly filling up with holiday parties, church events, family gatherings and holiday performances at your child’s school, it might be time to step back and analyze what’s most important to attend. Don’t feel bad telling someone you can’t make it. Having non-stop events throughout the month will not only keep you from completing your task list, but will also make the holidays more stressful than enjoyable.