Well-being tips to stress less during Holiday SeasonDec 07, 2022
How do you feel at the moment? With the end of the year fast approaching, I know for many of you life currently feels like a rush. There’s a lot of anxiety, worry and stress out there. You are definitely not alone.
Here are some tips and tricks to look after your well-being this Holiday Season
I will share the most common ‘end-of-year stressors’ and what you can do to mitigate them. So you can shift into holiday bliss and leave overwhelm and frustration behind.
Priorities instead of packed to-do lists
Businesses are in end-of-year mode and the switch from December to January brings a lot of to-dos. And even getting ready for the holidays can feel like a chore. And if this wasn’t enough, way too many are facing some sort of last-minute panic: “The year is coming to an end, and I feel nowhere near where I actually wanted to be.”
Remember, the end-of-year is only an imaginary deadline. In many companies it’s the end of the financial year, and also many businesses go into a little break because of the holidays. Ok, so some of the to-dos need to be completed for sure. But for most tasks, the shift from December into January ‘just’ means moving into the next month.
The same goes for our private life. Yes, it’s the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. But actually, it’s just the end of one day and the start of a new one, like every day of your life.
So free yourself from this imaginary deadline in your mind and instead ask yourself: What do I really need to do/finish/accomplish until the end of December and what can wait until January or even later? Be intentional and focus on what you can control.
Holiday joy instead of filled social calendars
Company Christmas parties, going to a Christmas market with friends, Santa Claus is coming for the kids and we haven’t even talked about the time with family and friends during Christmas and New Years'.
Listen, you don’t have to attend every single event that pops up on your calendar and that you are invited to. If you’re not excited about an invite, it’s time to get honest with yourself and simply say ‘no’. And believe me, most people will totally understand that you only have a certain amount of time and energy to give. Because the truth is, everyone would love to set better boundaries and be honest with themselves and others about it.
Attend the events that feel exciting to you and spend your time with people that give you good energy and light you up.
New traditions instead of gift-giving anxiety
Gift-giving is supposed to be joyful and make us feel good, but hunting for the perfect gift for everyone can be highly stressful, mentally and financially.
What about trying something new this year? Instead of everyone giving something to every family member or every single person in your circle of friends, decide that everyone just gets to give one thing to one person. It’s a lot of fun because you don’t know in advance who your ‘secret Santa’ is and instead of looking for 5, 10 or even more gifts, you get to focus your thoughts and time on one particular person. At the same time, this will save you a ton of money.
Another wonderful idea is to not gift material things but switch it up and agree that all gifts have to be ‘an experience’. These kinds of adventures don’t need to be costly, and what about a more beautiful gift than spending time together, learning or exploring something new?!
I’m pretty sure you have even more ideas on how to put a spin on gift-giving this year.
Intuitive eating instead of food guilt
Tasty temptations seem to be everywhere these days: Christmas cookies, sweet drinks with or without alcohol, Christmas parties, dinners and Christmas markets. Who doesn’t love to enjoy and indulge in good food? But overdoing it can leave us feeling bloated, sleepless, guilty and frustrated.
The most important thing about Christmas food and treats is: It’s all about balance.
If you restrict yourself too much, it will bring back cravings in an even nastier way (as with everything in life). If you forbid yourself something, you’ll be more likely to binge or have a negative relationship with food. It’s not beneficial for your well-being to label food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Listen to your body and eat what feels best. And trust me: A cookie and a Glühwein never killed anybody.
If you wanna trick yourself into not overdoing it, don’t go to a party completely hungry. That way you won’t eat too much junk. And as always, remember to hydrate. It’s easy to forget about it during hectic times, so do yourself this favour. It will especially help you if you’re drinking alcohol. Take my advice now and thank me later.
Financial peace instead of financial stress
The financial burden of Christmas gifts can pile up quickly. And all the events come with a price tag too. And on top of it, a lot of yearly invoices are coming in the end of December.
If you follow my tips above about gift-giving and saying no to events that don’t bring you joy, it will also have a positive impact on your finances.
Other than that, December finances are a lot about pre-planning: I suggest paying essential bills right on time and tracking your money-spending and saving process during the year. This might be a painful procedure at first, but will give you peace and calm in the long run. It’s ok to get yourself a coach or consultant as support, if this topic puts you under enormous pressure.
And the biggest stressor of them all…
By far, the biggest stressor of all of them is the expectations we have towards ourselves and everyone else. Let’s face it: Our expectations are just way too high!
We want everything during Holiday Season to be picture perfect, as we see it in ads and in movies, as social media tells us. We pressure ourselves with what we should do and how we think we should behave and put the same pressure on others.
"The truth is: We are setting ourselves up for massive stress and even greater disappointment. Because there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ Holiday Season."
We all have our unique circumstances. We all have our unique traditions or you can even invent new ones. You don’t need to attend all parties you are invited to. And the most important thing about gift giving is that it comes from the heart. It doesn’t even need to involve a lot of (or even any) money. And you don’t need to look perfect for the New Years' party. You don’t need to count calories for every cookie you eat. And you don’t have to feel guilty if you wanna move on after spending 3 days with your family.
The most important gift you can give yourself this season: Intention + Self-Compassion
The most important gift you can give to yourself this season is to be intentional and focus on the things that matter most to you. Ditch perfectionism for once and be gentle with yourself. If something doesn’t go as planned, let it be and enjoy the moment regardless.
It’s not easy, but it’s gonna be worth it
Listen, I know that making some of those decisions, like saying no to social events or changing family traditions, is not easy. But they are worth it.
You decide what kind of experience you want for yourself and everyone around you.
I can only tell you, you absolutely deserve to feel cheerful and chilled. And I promise you, your positive energy will impact everyone around you way more than any expensive Christmas gift ever will.
So what is it that’s most important to you this Holiday Season?
Sending you lots of holiday joy and peace of mind 🤍