How to maintain your sanity during holidays

Cut down on your stress with these tips


By Kelly Herdrich, Contributing writer

Balancing the things you have and want to do over the holidays is no easy task. Thankfully, by making "less is more" your holiday mantra, the holiday season can be managed and your sanity saved.

Between the decorations, the parties, the presents, and day-to-day life, the holiday season has changed over the years.

No longer filled with joy, togetherness and meditation, the holidays have become a string of stressful days and nights. Balancing the things you have and want to do over this time is no easy task. Thankfully, by making "less is more" your holiday mantra, the season can be managed and your sanity saved.

Rethink Gift Giving

One of the most stressful components of the holiday season is the shopping. Holiday shopping is plagued with long lines, pushy customers, and short supply of the must-have items on the Christmas shopping list.

Rather than waste precious holiday hours in stores, consider rethinking holiday gift giving. Do the bulk of holiday shopping online when possible.

Cut down on giving gifts to extended family and friends, and focus on immediate family. Involve the kids in a handmade craft rather than something anyone could purchase at the store.

Rethinking holiday gift giving has the potential to save money, as well as help you maintain your sanity.

Avoid Hosting Holiday Gatherings

The holidays are filled with parties. Between work, family and friends, weekends during the holidays are often bursting with activity.

By choosing to be a guest instead of a host, you can save time and money on party planning. Go to parties to enjoy time with friends and family instead of cooking and cleaning to prepare for one.

Cutting back on hosting responsibilities can reduce stress over the holidays. If you do decide to host, try nontraditional ideas such as ice-skating, as a way to reduce your load.

Don't Stretch Yourself Too Thin

Over scheduling often is one of the most common problems during the holiday season. Even if you've managed to avoid hosting a party yourself, open house and work invitations start arriving earlier and earlier each year.

Avoid stretching yourself too thin this holiday season in order to save your sanity. Be selective when accepting invitations. Allow some downtime every weekend leading up to the holidays, or you will experience holiday burnout before the celebrations have even taken place.

The American Psychological Association reminds people to take care of themselves over the holiday season.

Accept Help, Cut Corners

Don't take it upon yourself to handle everything that needs to get done this holiday season.

Delegate some shopping to your spouse. Have the children wrap presents. Let the entire family decorate.

If guests are coming to you, don't decline their offers to bring food or drink. Or consider cutting out the turkey and ham for dinner, and sticking with just one. Use a store-bought pie instead of a homemade one.

Maintaining your sanity this holiday season can be accomplished by sharing the workload and cutting corners.

The holidays don't have to be filled with stress and anxiety. Realize that less is more and look for ways to include the entire family in what needs to be accomplished. By cutting back instead of running yourself ragged, you'll be able to maintain your sanity this holiday season.