Tips To Reduce Stress This Holiday Season
Along with this wonderful time of the year oftentimes comes stress that finds its way into our lives in lots of ways. Whether you find stress comes from your family, your friends, your job, lack of organization, frustration from holidays past, or really whatever the root might be, I've come up with some easy ways to help reduce stress this season. Let's be honest, I probably wrote this more for me than anything haha!
write it down & color code my life
When I worked at Nordstrom, my schedule changed every week. There was not much consistency with when I would be home or the shifts I was working, so it was really hard for Matt & I to be on the same page with our schedules. I bought a big yearly calendar to put on the side of our fridge, as well as highlighters to color code every different event, and decided that we would use that to write everything down! For some reason, even tho I am on my phone all day long, we could not figure out a rhythm with using our phones to keep track of everything. I love being able to write something down and visualize it; so the calendar on our fridge has been amazing. For the Holidays we have all of my blog events, work parties, family Christmases (yes, there are SEVERAL), YoungLife events, and any things we have going on with friends. Having everything color coded by the type of event it is (i.e. BLOG, Bre Only, Matt Only, Bre & Matt, etc.) it is very easy to quickly glance and see what nights we have things going on. I feel like with all the craziness of the season, you have to try and find a way to stay organized so there is no lack of communication that gets in the way of having peace and celebrating the season!
Create Time For Yourself
Cause you're the best!
In a world thats is always telling us to look beyond ourself and thinks it's conceited & insecure to focus too much time on our own needs, I think it is actually important to take time for yourself. Whatever that might look like. For some that means waking up early and doing devotions. It's that quiet time to relax and recharge; more than sleep alone can accomplish. For others that might look like buying a coffee before work twice a week, reading a book every night before bed, or just laying on the couch and watching your favorite show to unwind. For me, I like all of these things! I also love to light a candle, crack open a good magazine, and sip a coffee. The focus shouldn't always be on ourselves, of course not, but it is important to recognize what we need to do in order to feel happy ourselves too! It's not lazy or introverted to want to relax & spend some time on yourself. If you don't, you might burn out!
Find What Is Most Important
Make your own traditions
This is really one of the hardest things for me to do this time of year, probably because I am a people person, and because I am so close with my family around me, I want to please everyone. As important as it is to hangout and be with family, and keep traditions, it's also really important to make your own memories with those you love. Matt and I both grew up with so many traditions that have become so special to us and we wanted to make sure we started our own too! On Christmas eve after we get back home to our place from our parents houses, we decided we are going to sleep under our tree with the lights on, on our couch! We started it last year in our first year of marriage and it was so fun. It's a really simple tradition, but I am already looking forward to it this year! This year we also started the tradition of going to our wedding venue to get a Christmas tree; not only is it adorable and so festive, it brings us back to that day & hold so many sweet memories!
Create A Budget
We spent what?!
I will keep this one short because A. I am not the best at keeping a budget, that is ALL MATT! (He is amazing!) and B. I feel like this is one that you already know, but I know it can be hard to stick to. So here's my two cents! I think the best thing to do is to start off with a conversation. So for Matt and I we will sit down and write out who we need to buy gifts for, and how much we are spending per person. At least getting an idea of what we think we will be spending helps us not look back and be like WOAH what did we just blow all that money on?! Sticking in the budget also means for myself to remember not to by things for me! It's about giving right now, and not just going to the mall to shop for myself haha! Just being honest, ladies.
you may be superwoman, but you can't do it all
This part sort of goes along with figuring out what is most important! If you're like my you have a big family, your spouse has a big family, and chances are you grew up with a lot of different traditions that might fall on the same day now that you are dating or married. I am not saying that they don't matter or that you should skip out on these events, but more suggesting that figuring out what you want to attend and what you actually can attend. You probably can't make it to three dinners on the same night, but maybe you try and make it to two, and plan ahead the timing you expect to leave one party and arrive at the other! If you have already committed to dinner with a friend, and you get asked to come over to dinner at your Aunts house, you might want to realistically realize that you can't make both. I think it's always important to try and make something happen if you CAN, like maybe you can swing by your Aunts for dessert later that night, or next weekend. But you have to be realistic or else you might get overwhelmed!
Learn To Say No
Say it kindly
If you have all your events organized, you've got your month perfectly planned out and somehow figured out how you're going to make it all work, yet your Grandma calls you to ask if you can come to a Christmas breakfast (and you're already going two places that day), it might be time to learn to say no. "No" is a hard word for me, both to say & to hear. Nobody wants to turn someone down, and nobody especially wants to be the one that gets shut down. I think that this time of year it's a little more common for someone to be understanding because they might already expect that you are pretty booked up. Always say no in the kindest and most thankful way you can!
I hope this is helpful, even if just one thing resonates with you! It's so important to make sure you enjoy this time of year; relax, fill it with fun memories and family, and take time for yourself too!
Love you all!