We all know that despite the holly and mistletoe, the holidays are not always jolly and bright for everyone. In fact, they can be quite stressful. Whether it’s finding the right gifts on time or wondering if you can afford them, this season is full of triggers for anxiety.
Here are some practical tips to help tackle some common sources of holiday stress:
Manage your expectations
Too often, we expect the most of ourselves and can focus too much on achieving a perfect holiday. But living with all that pressure can take the fun out of the season. So, think about what you want from this time of year and set your own realistic expectations. Plan around what makes you and yours happiest and communicate with your family to make it happen.
Continue some routines
As exciting as it may be, the holiday season can wreak havoc on many a schedule through extra social commitments, school breaks and all that shopping and cooking.
It’s natural that some activities may get left behind. Try to maintain some aspects of your regular schedule that contribute to your well-being such as exercise classes, therapy sessions, solid sleep habits and healthy eating patterns. Keeping a few routines can help you better cope with stress and even reduce it.
Make a money plan
You might know it’s a good idea make a budget for the entire year that includes saving for holiday spending. Remembering that you have money socked away can calm some fears and make it easier to budget for your seasonal wants and needs.
But if you don’t have a budget and aren’t sure how to start, don’t worry. It’s not too late to learn. You can find free introductory financial resources online from ABC Life Literacy Canada’s Money Matters program. From courses to virtual workshops, you’ll find the tools and help you need to reduce anxiety and increase your confidence in managing your money. Learn more at abcmoneymatters.ca.