The following is a guest post on ways to stay stress-free this holiday from regular contributor, Kristin at The Gold Project.
Christmas time is my favorite time of year. From the decorating to the gift purchasing and the all around feeling in the air. But, it can also be a stressful time if I don’t watch myself. Since I have been married, I have followed a few simple tips to keep myself on track and my mind where it should be during this time of year.
5 Ways to Stay Stress-Free During the Holidays
Keep a List
This one should not come as a surprise. I have a list for Christmas gifting and planning, and this list is usually started in the summer. My brain is always going in many different directions, so if I don’t have everything written down I will forget something. The same goes for Christmas gifts and planning. I have all of the people I need to purchase presents for written in a notebook and I have the days I get paid listed as well. I will divide presents up by paychecks, so I know exactly what needs to be purchased when payday rolls around.
Since I have been married, I have always started my Christmas shopping early. And, when I say early, I mean during the summer months. I know it may seem a little too early, but it helps me out so much. By starting so early, we are able to purchase most gifts with our checking account. Each paycheck we set aside a certain percentage to use for Christmas, birthday, and anniversary gifts. So, by Christmas time, everything has been purchased and our credit cards have not been maxed out. Having a lot of credit card debt stresses me out a lot, so this approach has helped a lot.
I used to love going shopping on the weekends. For years, it was one of my favorite things to do. Now, things have changed drastically. I do not like to go to an actual store. I like to sit at home with a cup of coffee in my hand and shop. A lot of stores have excellent deals where you can get free shipping, plus I don’t have to drive or wait in long lines. This means more time for relaxing with my family.
Set Realistic Expectations
Sometimes, I think I am super mom. I think I can get a lot more accomplished in a given day or even season than I actually can. I have learned to be more realistic these days. For example, we are in the middle of a kitchen remodel, so I am focusing on getting a Christmas tree up this year. I am holding back from doing all of the festive kitchen items and living room decorations. I can’t get it all done. Finishing my kitchen project is more important than decorating the entire house. Once I realized to keep my goals attainable, my stress was reduced greatly.
Remember the Reason for the Season
Sometimes, I know I can get wrapped up in the presents and decorations and totally forget about the reason we are celebrating. When that happens, I have to step back and re-evaluate what I am focusing on. Those things are not the reason we celebrate.
How do you stay stress-free during the holiday season?
My name is Kristin and I am a middle school career education teacher by day and a mommy/wife/blogger by night. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two loving children. We recently made a life-changing move to Arkansas, so our new house is always under construction. I get excitement out of finding new creative, functional, and cute ways to organize things! I also enjoy writing and documenting life as it happens. So, I put these loves together and created The Gold Project. With the help of my husband, I am attempting to turn our house into a home. So, check out this special place of mine and take this journey with me!
See also the Organized for Christmas series