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The holiday season is just around the corner, and many of us are already starting to worry about lots of things. Preparing for the holidays usually generates a lot of stress – from the holiday shopping, to booking flights for that holiday getaway you’ve been planning for so long, down to the fact that you still need to worry on how to finance the whole holiday bonanza. You just can’t help but feel overwhelmed by all the tasks you need to do! Sometimes it’s just impossible to accomplish even the smallest errand amid the mad rush in malls inherent during the holidays.

The holiday season should be a time for relaxation, a time to catch up with old acquaintances, a time to actually enjoy life after a year of hard work. That’s why, as much as possible, we should avoid the holiday stress by making the preparations as hassle-free as possible. Here’s how:

  1. Plan early – There’s no better way to avoid the Christmas rush than preparing early. You cannot avoid stress if you’re accustomed to the crazy last minute Christmas shopping. Start making the list early and buy early if you can help it. List down everything you need to prepare – down to the very last detail. Treat fall as a nature’s signal for you to start preparing for the holidays. Just think, Santa Claus and his elves prepare for the holidays a day after the previous Christmas. You don’t have to prepare that early, but you get the point.

  1. Keep it simple – Stress usually accompanies grandiose holiday plans. A good tip to avoid all the unnecessary hassle is to keep the celebrations simple. In the current state of the economy, it’s not advisable to throw large parties anymore. A simple dinner with the family or an intimate holiday getaway is enough to celebrate. What’s important is that you and your family are enjoying the season, not the size of the holiday ham or the number of presents.

  1. Stay fit – People usually tend to forget their health once the holiday season kicks in. Avoid health-related stress by keeping tabs on your workout and diet throughout the holiday season. Moderation will go a long way in helping you enjoy the rest of the holidays without feeling bloated or guilty about everything you ate. New Year’s Eve is not a license to abuse the body either.

  1. Budget wisely – To avoid fretting on overspending, stick to a budget for the holiday season. You don’t have to be Scrooge to do so. Just prioritise what’s important. Do away with expensive gifts and gadgets that will be forgotten by the recipient a few months after the holidays. Consider giving to charity in the recipient’s name, or use coupons to get a big discount out of your purchases.

  1. Don’t forget to breathe – The holiday break was designed to rejuvenate your tired body. With office work literally pulling to a stop, and many other regular day problems being set aside for a while, the holiday season is really the perfect time to sit back and relax. Don’t waste your vacation by worrying too much.

Remember, the holidays are also for you. As much as you would like to prepare the perfect holiday, you should also consider your health and well-being. All your efforts will be wasted if you’re cranky and grumpy during the party! Use these tips to help you breeze through the holidays.

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Paul Bailey

Paul is a highly experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Personal Development Specialist. He works with people to enhance business and personal performance through a process of supported self-awareness and self- development. Paul is the Co-Author of the book 80 Tips.