5 Tips for A Stress-Free Holiday Season

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Shakti Sutriasa

We’re entering into the vortex of holiday. The next 5 weeks will be a blur of excitement… and stress.

Many of us look forward to the holidays. It’s a time for family, fun, sharing and giving. But the holidays are THE most stressful time of year.

So in the midst of decorating, shopping, cooking and partying this year, be sure to take extra special care of you.

Here are my TOP 5 ways to stay sane and enjoy this most wonderful time of year.

1. Start Your Day

How you start your day is critical.

For years my husband would say, “How you start your day is how you live your day.”

He and I always start with meditation. Why? Because it offers a moment of silence, of unity and a way to ground and center myself before I jump into the chaos of life.

Give yourself the gift of silence in the morning.

If you’re not ready for that, listen to a guided meditation. I have many on my website. Feel free to download some today. Click Here

2. Schedule Timeouts

Timeout isn’t just for toddlers anymore. Timeouts are for adults, especially Mommies and Daddies who need a little down time, relaxation and rest.

But the key is to schedule them.

I know this sounds counter intuitive – however, if they aren’t scheduled, life will intercede.

Here are the steps to making your timeouts a reality:

  • Ask yourself: What time of the day is good for a 20-minute time to chill? Around lunch time? During that 3pm drag? A half hour before bedtime?
  • Think about what day or days of the week this could work. Maybe Wednesdays the kids don’t need to get picked up until 4 so you could put your feet up for an hour and read a magazine. Or Friday is a half day at work, you could do something in the afternoon...

SCHEDULE these breaks into your life.

Think of them as catnaps OR take an entire afternoon and do something special just for you. Get a massage, recline in the hot tub or simply unwind on a nature walk.

3. Delegate / Ask for Help

Even though we look forward to the holidays, they can easily feel overwhelming. Because in addition to the regular schedule – job, children, family, chores – there’s the added decorating, gift buying, socializing…

  • Make a list of all the new chores and obligations/invitations that the holidays bring.
  • Now prioritize it.
  • What can other people do for you?

Think about enlisting help from friends and family members including children – regardless of age. They love to assist and it’s fun for them to be involved.

I know a woman who confessed to being such a control freak she wouldn’t let anyone help her put the lights on the Christmas tree.

Know yourself and decide what the MUSTS are for you, then give away the other tasks. (Even if it means they don’t get done absolutely perfectly.)

4. Stick to the Budget

I know this is not romantic but it is a vital anti-stress tool.

Overspending for the holidays can feel good for a fleeting moment but ultimately it adds undue pressure and stress.

To avoid this, make yourself a budget.

How much available cash do you have for gifts?

Once you identify that, allocate a certain amount per person. If you have specific presents in mind, subtract those costs from your budget and then get creative with the rest.

There’s always enough money for everything you need to get.

5. Exercise

I recently finished an article that cited new research about the incredible benefits to your brain of cardio exercise like running. It helps create new brain cells (wahoo!) It also strengthens the mitochondria which provide energy to the cells.

If you aren’t in the habit of exercising, the holidays are the perfect time to start.

You will feel better in mind, body and spirit. It will lower your stress level and keep your neurons strong and healthy regardless of how much eggnog you imbibe!

Enjoy these next few weeks with friends and family. But be sure to take the best care of you!

Shakti Sutriasa is the Founder of Decide Differently, a personal development company offering life coaching and workshops that combine modern psychology and spirituality to help people deeply connect to their passion and purpose. Shakti is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and has an MA in Education. Isn't it time you were living the life you deserve? Learn More

Download her free meditation kit today! Click Here

Here’s that article about running and brain health. Click Here