Chappaqua, New York (PRWEB) November 26, 2012
The Christmas season bustles with list making, mall crawling, web surfing... until that delicious sigh of relief as the last ribbon is curled. Balancing personal and business responsibilities during the holidays can challenge even the most self-aware among us (in the most 'functional' families). Award-winning author / stress management expert Susie Mantell of Relaxintuit.com shares “16 Holiday Stress Tips for More Joyful, (Less Stressful!) Holidays:”
1. Create a Pre-Holiday Timeline: Prevent last-minute anxiety, and the dreaded Christmas Eve Crunch.
2. Shop Smart: Before heading to stores, comparison shop online for best prices and reviews. Examine merchandise thoroughly for defects. Ask about warrantees, especially for big-ticket items.
3. Co-Op Shop: Trade babysitting with friends so you can each shop hands-free. Coordinate holiday gift shopping expeditions, picking up what each other needs at stores you visit. Co-Op Cook: Bake two lasagnas while a neighbor makes chili for both families. Bake two pies or batches of cupcakes. Swap.
4. Wrap-As-You-Shop: Avoid midnight marathon wrapping by wrapping the same day you buy.
5. Simplify: Allowing guests to bring something often makes people feel more at home. Ask your family to reevaluate more demanding traditions. Could skating and a sleepover replace baking four different Christmas cookies from scratch?
6. Ask What People Want: Surprises are wonderful, but so is receiving your heart’s desire. Knowing people will love their presents also relieves shopping stress.
7. Safety First: When shopping online, use only trusted, secure websites that provide phone support. Look for a lock, and address fields showing: “h t t p s”
8. Save Holiday Gift Receipts in One Place: Check returns policies. Get gift receipts. Billing problem? Ask your credit card company to dispute it with the vendor for you.
9. Consider January Sales: Wrap a photo, or toy version, with an I.O.U. Buy it on sale after Christmas.
10. January 2nd, open a Holiday Savings Account: Auto-transfer each week. You’ll be so glad next December.
11. Soothe Holiday Stress & Depression: Schedule breaks for rest, meditation, laughing with friends, mindful breathing. Smile. You don’t even have to mean it for smiling to lift your spirits. Smiling sends a mind-body message to the brain: “I must be okay-- I’m smiling.” Eat healthily and exercise daily. Then, when you splurge on a treat, enjoy every bite.
12. Spread “Peace on Earth:” Let someone go ahead in line. Invite somebody who’s alone to join you for a holiday meal.
13. Connect: On hectic days, even a ten-minute decaf with someone you like is a terrific stress-buster. Missing faraway friends? Schedule catch-up phone dates.
14. On Your Own This Year?: Plan a getaway, join a choral group, volunteer. Organize a girls (or guys) night-out. Invite neighbors for movies or games, order in and use festive paper goods. Have everyone bring wrapped grab-bag gifts under $10. Play with puppies in a pet store. Visit seniors.
15. Practice Gratitude: Courtesy’s a *guaranteed* stress-buster. Thank six people daily, (e.g. letter carriers, 1st responders, teachers, nurses). Tip generously. Holiday salespeople deal all day with rushing, rude, sometimes, ruthless people. A warm, appreciative smile’s a simple to way to reduce their stress – and yours.
16. Need Stress Relief Gift Ideas?: Healthy, Affordable Stress-Buster Gift Ideas (pdf)