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8 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas Season

By Darlene Oakley HERWriter
8 tips to ease stress this Christmas season MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

Seems a little early, I know, but we all know what’s coming — running here and there, snow (at least in some places), decorations, parties, wrapping ... This is stressful enough for adults, let alone the children caught in the middle of mom and dad’s plans.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are supposed to be times of connecting with family, and yet we’re so busy, we don’t really seem to connect with anyone. The kids get overstimulated, overtired and don’t really, actually enjoy things.

So, it’s good to sit back now and get ourselves settled on some strategies to help Christmas seem a lot less chaotic and a lot more joyful and triumphant.

Keep it Simple

Learn to say "no." It seems pretty simple, but can be the hardest thing to put into practice. You don’t need to attend every event.

Decide which events are absolute must-dos and which ones you don’t need to go to. You may not have all the dates yet, but you can still pick and choose those events right now. When you do get the final details, try to keep to a schedule that won’t disrupt the family’s normal rhythm too much.

Learn to say "no" to overdoing the decorations and the gifts as well. While the decorating is fun and the kids are probably expecting a lot of gifts, Christmas isn’t about how many gifts we buy or receive or how many strands of garland or lights we get up.

Sometimes, Christmas is simpler simply because our busy lives interfere, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes less is more and means more.

Manage your Stress by Indulging Your Senses

Children know instantly when mom is stressed and you don’t even have to say anything. One of the keys to helping them — and you — enjoy the holidays is to manage your stress. One way to do that is to slow down and appreciate individual moments that create the memories of this time of year—the sights, the smells, the sounds.

Don’t just rush by them. Take a few moments to stop and enjoy them, smell them, touch them. “After a few minutes of sensory indulgence, your heart rate will slow and your muscles will relax.” (1)

Establish New Traditions

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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