It's the holiday season and while it's filled with joy, togetherness and generosity, the holidays can also be super stressful. Once you have children, there's suddenly so much more to do to make the holidays awesome. And sometimes the road to all that fun is paved with high blood pressure and stress headaches. Let's put a stop to that.
Obey the Budget
You have a holiday budget for a reason. Going over that budget in attempt to make others happy will only make you stress out from now through whenever you actually pay off those credit cards. Think twice and keep your financial stress down.
If you're traveling with kids, you know you're headed for a bumpy ride. Pack smart by including coloring books, crayons, arts and crafts for the long wait in the airport, new games downloaded onto your phone or tablet, and snacks — lots of snacks. You could even introduce your kids to some of the games you played as a child like the license plate game.
Cut the Gifts
You don't need to buy gifts for everyone under the sun. Talk to your family about only getting gifts for the kids including nieces and nephews, and skip the adults. You can also cut back on how many gifts you get for your spouse and kids too.
For some of us, stress makes us eat and eat and then eat some more. Fill up on water before you head to that holiday party and keep yourself from overeating. This will save you the stress of knowing that you ate too much and will keep you feeling healthy and strong.
Have a Code
Holiday parties can be overwhelming, especially if there are family members that stress you out. Create a code word with your spouse that signals to him or her that you need a break from the in-laws or that it's time to leave the party. And when your spouse uses that code word, even if you're having fun, respect their wishes and follow through.
Plan Quiet Time
Plan a special tradition with just your immediate family that includes some quiet time at home together. Whether you use it watching a classic Christmas movie or making crafts, knowing that you have that down time will help keep you calm during stressful times.
Skip a Party
You don't have to feel obligated to attend every holiday party you're invited to. Pick one or two and skip the others. You'll lose the stress of hostess gifts, party outfits, and fighting with your kids to get dressed and out the door.
It's the holidays, so have fun. Don't spend the next month stressing out. Take it one day at a time and know your family's limits.