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Does the Christmas chaos have you stressed out? It doesn’t have to. Your holidays can be peaceful. Find out 9 ways to reduce Christmas anxiety.
The first thing you need to remember about Christmas or any other holiday is that it’s not required that you do EVERYTHING. If cooking stresses you out, order food from a restaurant. And if you hate shopping, give everyone gift cards.
If you are stressed out at family gatherings, take a trip at Christmas to somewhere relaxing or have a small family event at home with just your immediate family. Are you broke? Don’t worry about gifts at all. You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses. Your mental health is worth more than gifts and food.
It’s okay not to do everything. You don’t have to go to every event or attend every party. Give yourself permission to sit at home in your PJs instead of going out. It’s not going to kill anyone for you to miss and if that’s what you need to stay calm and stress-free, you are worth it! Just simplify to reduce Christmas anxiety this year!
Reduce holiday stress
*The number one way to reduce Christmas stress is SHOP EARLY. If you can get any gifts you need out of the way and wrapped, you’ll have more time for cooking, baking and enjoying events you choose to attend. I like to have everything done and in boxes according to event so I just have to make a dish, grab the box and go. No last-minute wrapping for me. I can’t handle it.
*If you don’t have money to shop early, consider cutting back on what you’re giving. There aren’t any rules that say you have to go into debt to give gifts to everyone you know. If someone gives you a gift, it doesn’t mean you owe them one. It’s okay to give a few gifts to those who matter most and just say thank you if anyone gives you a gift and you don’t have one for them. You can also make an agreement with your friends not to exchange gifts.
*Another way to reduce Christmas anxiety is to skip black Friday. Black Friday is chaotic and can be overwhelming. If you don’t want to fight the crowds, don’t. If you feel like you really need to save money, give fewer gifts.
*If you really want to give a ton of great gifts without going broke, start shopping right after Christmas at the after Christmas sales. You can save a ton of money on gifts and put them up until next year. Christmas anxiety won’t even start if you already have a stash of gifts bought and in a special place before the chaos begins.
*A great way to reduce Christmas anxiety at the end of the year is to make a list of everyone on your list and record their birthdays. When you wish them a happy birthday, purchase their Christmas. In December you’ll be nearly finished.
*Christmas anxiety can be calmed by making lists of everything you want to do and creating a timeline. If you are able to keep yourself on track mostly with the timeline, it will help you feel like you are staying in control. Remember to record baking homemade treats if you are giving them, wrapping, purchasing, scheduling, and planning out all the events, making menu selections, and cooking the food you’re serving or bringing.
I keep a master list of all the meals I’m attending, then I put what I’m supposed to cook or bring to that event. Then when I’m making my grocery list, it’s super simple to check back to that list and make my shopping lists.
I do the same thing with my gift shopping. Make a list of people I want to give to. Then I write down what I’d like to buy. As I have money, I purchase things off the list and mark them off. Then I set up boxes for each gathering and drop the gifts in the corresponding box.
Like I said before, please don’t feel like you need to do any or all of these things. If you do want to do them, I want to help you organize your Christmas so it’s all doable for you. This will work for managing any holiday you’re stressed out about.
*A great way to reduce holiday anxiety is with people. Bake with friends. If you are making a ton of Christmas cookies and you know someone else who is too, ask them to come over and bring their ingredients and you can knock them out together. One person can mix while the other one scoops out cookies and bakes. When one person gets too tired, the other can fill in the gap.
Helping each other is a fun way to keep the groove going. You can encourage each other, share recipes, and come up with cool ways to package the Christmas cookies or bread, muffins, cake, candy, whatever.
Get your family in on the chores. Your husband or kids can fill out Christmas cards or wrap grandma’s gift. They can help scoop out cookies. They can make deliveries. Don’t think you have to do it all alone. I know my family doesn’t offer to help. I have to enlist them. And I DO!
*A lot of Christmas anxiety can be calmed with some fun Christmas music. If you don’t like Christmas music, use the music you like. Music touches your soul, and it can completely change your mood. Enjoy it when you’re handling your Christmas chores.
*The number one best way to calm holiday anxiety is to be thankful and focus on your blessings. There is nothing that melts stress away faster than gratefulness.
Free Christmas Timeline Printable
Use this free Christmas timeline printable to schedule out everything you need to do. First, print out the Christmas timeline. Next, when you get invited to a party, write down on that date, what food you’re supposed to bring and who you need gifts for at that event. Then you’ll be able to look at a glance and see what’s coming up.
If you have a free weekend or evening before a party, get as many gifts ready for the next few parties as you can and put the food ingredients on your shopping list too. You can grab everything you need in one shopping trip. Then you’ll be on top of each event instead of running to the store right before to get ingredients to cook. Imagine how much less holiday anxiety you’ll have if you’re on top of everything ahead of time.
Click on the highlighted link to print out your Christmas timeline to use.