Tips to a Stress Free Holiday

christmas-gift1The joyful holiday season can sometimes feel like one of the most stressful times of the year. Between shopping, entertaining and parties, we tend to forget what the holidays are about: happiness. Here are some tips in order to avoid letting the stress take over and bring down your joy.

Get your list done early:  Buying and wrapping gifts takes a while. It is a good idea to get a head start by buying things early when there is more of a selection. If you’re baking something, buying the ingredients days before the actual party will take off a lot of pressure. Also don’t do everything by yourself; cleaning the house and decorating is a job for more than one person. If for whatever reason you end up doing it all, start early one spot at a time. Asking people what they want relieves us from the constant wondering of if they’re going to like what we got them.

Go tech- free: “My mom always taught my sister and me to not use any technology at the table, and it’s a custom we also use on holidays. The whole family goes tech-free because once we’re all together we don’t need anything else,” said Diana Palma, age 15

Avoid expensive gifts: Almost nobody is at the top of the mountain when we’re talking about economic situation, and sometimes the holidays just make us resent it even more. It is not easy to buy gifts for every single member of the family especially in Hispanic families because we tend to be very large. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars in gifts, search for alternatives. DIY gifts are always a good optional. There are dozens of websites with great ideas to copy. If you’re not a crafty person, you can always look for coupons or start a family gift exchange. The American Psychological Association recommends being open with family if money is an issue.

Focus on the season of giving: Helping others can five us a warm feeling. Volunteering to aid those in need also helps us appreciate what we have. “Every year my family gets involved in some kind of volunteering. We are picky and try to do just one or two volunteer projects together,” shared Claudia Escobedo, age 16

Learn to say no: You’re only one person and can’t always attend to every single party you’re invited to. You may think that it is rude to say no, but it’s not. Besides what is the point of being at a party that you’re clearly not enjoying? People will appreciate your presence more when you are stress free and in a good mood.

Connect with Family: After not seeing your relatives for a long time, holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with them. According to the American Psychological Association, being with those who care about you can help alleviate stress. With this purpose in mind, you can organize get-togethers where each member of the family brings something to the reunion, so the load is not only on one person.

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