Planning for a relaxed holiday season will be easy with these free pintables that include all of your Christmas planning in one place, including budget, meals, parties, and gifts!
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‘Tis the season for stress! The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, but it can also be a really stressful time of year. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to be done, take a deep breath and read on for some tips on how to plan a relaxed holiday season.
Planning for a Relaxed Holiday Season
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. But they can also be a time of stress and anxiety. If you’re dreading the thought of facing the holiday season, never fear! There are ways to make it through without losing your mind. Here are some tips:
Set Realistic Expectations
The holiday season is a busy time of year, and there’s just no way around that. Trying to do too much will only lead to stress and frustration. So take a step back and think about what’s really important to you and your family.
First, determine how much time you really have. Ask yourself:
- Do you have time off from work?
- Which activities will pause during the holiday season like sports, lessons, school, etc?
- What priorities will keep moving forward, like work, church, medical appointments, etc.?
Make a List and Check it Twice
To avoid getting overwhelmed, make a list of everything you need to do during the holiday season. This includes things like shopping for gifts, attending parties, and baking cookies. Once you have your list, prioritize it by assigning each task a due date. That way, you’ll be able to focus on one thing at a time and avoid getting overwhelmed.
Also, ask yourself, what are your must-do holiday traditions? What can you let go of this year? Focusing on what’s truly important will help keep things in perspective and make the holiday season more enjoyable for everyone. List all of these as well.
Pro Tip: Think of things you have missed and wanted to do in past holiday seasons.
Every holiday season there are events we wish we could attend and activities we would like to do with our family if we had time. These things aren’t on the regular list of annual family and friends get togethers. They are things like plays the children might enjoy, ministry opportunities, and special date nights. Make a list of all of those things so you can see where they fit in your schedule this year.
Make a Plan and Stick to It
Once you know what your holiday tasks and must-do holiday traditions are, it’s time to make a plan. When will you do your shopping? What days will you decorate your home? When will you bake cookies? Having a schedule will help you stay organized and on track. But don’t be too rigid — if something comes up or you start to feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to adjust your plan. The important thing is to have one in the first place! Go ahead and put each of these things on your calendar.
Pro tip: Make some notes about each of the events you added to the calendar.
Holiday events usually require us to have one of two things, or both; a gift or food. Note events that require an RSVP. If you are using the planner pages below, you will have a list of gifts to buy and food items to make on the bottom of your calendar ready for shopping.
Set a Budget and Stick to It
One of the main sources of holiday stress is overspending. Before you start your holiday shopping, set a budget and stick to it. This will help you stay on track and avoid going into debt. If you have trouble sticking to a budget, try using cash instead of credit cards. That way, you’ll only be able to spend what you have on hand. Don’t forget to include these things in your holiday budget:
- Holiday Clothing
- Food for special meals and parties
- Holiday Baking
- Gift wrapping
Delegate, delegate, delegate!
One of the quickest ways to sentence yourself to stress during the holidays is to try and do everything yourself. But you don’t have to go it alone — ask friends and family members for help with shopping, wrapping gifts, mailing cards, cooking, or whatever else needs to be done.
If you’re hosting a party, ask friends or family members to help with the food, décor, and cleanup. If you’re responsible for buying gifts for the kids in your extended family, see if there’s someone else who can help out this year. The more you can delegate, the less stressed you’ll be.
You’ll get the chores ticked off your list quicker and you’ll be able to make the most of your holiday season by enjoying your time with loved ones instead of trying to cram too much in too tight of a schedule.
Take Some Time for Yourself
It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that we often forget to take care of ourselves. Be sure to schedule some downtime into your busy schedule — even if it’s just 15 minutes for a cup of tea or a quick walk around the block. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel (and how much more patient you’ll be!) when you take some time out for yourself amidst all the craziness.
The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of year, but for many people they’re anything but peaceful and relaxing. If your holiday season is starting to feel more like a marathon than a stroll in the park, use these tips to help get things back on track. Set realistic expectations, make (and stick to!) a plan, delegate where possible, and most importantly, don’t forget to take some time out for yourself — you deserve it!
The holidays don’t have to be stressful! By following these tips, you can make it through the holiday season without losing your mind. So take a deep breath and relax—it’s going to be alright!
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