With Thanksgiving just days away, we are on the cusp of yet another holiday season. ’Tis the time for fun, family, friends and lots of shopping, for some — the beginning of four weeks of relationship drama and financial pressure, for others.
To get the most out of the holiday season, dedicate a few hours to planning this weekend. It may help you ward off aggravation and anxiety. Also try these tips for sailing into 2015 with ease.
- Exhale — you are not alone. Feeling bad about dreading the holidays doesn’t make you a Grinch; it likely means you’re realistic about your relationship and financial dynamics. The American Psychological Association reports that lack of time, pressure to give gifts and lack of money are stressors for 69 percent of women during the holidays.
- Set a budget. Establish realistic expectations about what you can spend this year, so you do not wake up on January 2nd with a mountain of debt higher than your Christmas tree. Review your financial obligations for about an hour or so and decide what you can comfortably budget for holiday activities. Then develop your gift and entertaining list.
- Do it with dollars. To resist the temptation to overspend, take your credit cards out of your wallet, dip them in water and freeze them for the season. Shop with the amount of cash set by your budget.
- Work together. If you are part of a large family or group that celebrates together each year, make a few calls this weekend and brainstorm about ways to cut expenses and maximize fun. Consider a one-gift grab bag for each adult. Plan a potluck holiday get-together. Figure out how to share the preparation, cooking and cleaning for holiday feasts. Do not let one person carry the burden of a holiday dinner or party.
- Get a deal. Browse this list of mobile shopping apps to find the best deals on everything from food for your holiday party to toys and grown-up gifts. Other apps, such as Yowza, will help you find coupons for almost everything.
- Be flexible. Holiday traditions, like all else in life, are likely to change from year to year. So go with the flow. Be open to new ideas.
- Make a list. Figure out everything you must do for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Set your list aside for a few hours. Then come back to it and see what you can trim. Focus on simplicity.
- Learn to de-stress. Make this year’s gift to yourself an easy, relaxed holiday season. Post this list of quick, handy stress busters on the fridge and indulge as needed.
- Cat nap and plan to get your 8 hours of sleep.
- Spend 15 minutes doing yoga poses for relaxation.
- Do Fierce’s “20 seconds to serenity” breathing exercise.
- Say “no.” Take something off your to-do list.
- Take a walk — around the block, up a hill, through the park. Just stroll.
Have an easy, economical, memorable holiday!
About Fierce Fridays — Tips for Weekend Well-Being
We each cherish those precious days off at the end of the week, but increasingly those of us who are charter members of the sisterhood of the stressed and overworked are losing our Saturday and Sunday leisure time to weekend work and domestic duties.
To make sure that you do something every weekend that’s just for you, we’ll be sharing a little advice to make those 48 hours a great time to recharge your batteries, bring a little good news into your life or discover a quick and easy way to improve your health.