A stressed woman during Christmas. (Photo/Courtesy)

Whether you are a die-hard fan of Christmas or someone who wants it over and done with, it is common to get stressed during the festive season. For most people, the days leading up to Christmas become so cumbersome that they forget to be intentional about their purchases and planning. Once the holiday period is over, you end up financially and emotionally drained and not looking forward to the new year. But even with planning, the holiday stress can still sneak up on you. Here are five ways to help you reduce stress, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.

Know your spending limit

Most people get stressed around the holiday season due to budget constraints. As a result, they end up drowning in debts come the next year. It is okay if you do not have money to throw parties or buy expensive gifts. Set a budget for yourself, and do not be afraid to tell your children that the toys they want cost too much. 

Share responsibilities

Planning a festive season can be hectic when things like food preparation and decorating are involved. Do not do everything by yourself. Ask friends and family members to help, especially when they expect you to hold any gatherings. If you cannot afford to host a party or have other responsibilities, do not be afraid to ask another family member to do so. Avoid taking more than you can handle and, instead, offer to make contributions such as bringing decorations without overwhelming yourself. 

Plan early

It is easy to reduce stress when you plan and keep a schedule of how you want things to go. Most people often pack too much work into their days, amounting to confusion and stress. Avoid the last-minute rush and make a physical list if you must. Writing down your goals has a higher chance of ensuring success. 

Maintain healthy eating

No matter how tempting it would be to overeat during the holidays, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. While you treat yourself to ‘cheat meals’, remember not to turn the days into weeks to avoid adding more weight than you can handle. Losing the weight you have added can stress you later. To stay on track, ask a couple of your friends if you could do a healthy eating challenge during the holidays. Also, keep a fun and simple workout routine to ensure you stay active. 

Lower your expectations

With the amount of planning required, there are so many things that can go wrong when planning for a festive holiday. From bad cooking to having blackouts, you must learn to embrace whatever happens. Trying to keep calm and avoid worrying too much can go a long way to ensure you are not stressed during the holidays.