How to stay sane during craziness of holiday season
FARGO - When holiday cheer increases, so does our stress level. What's my budget? Who should I buy gifts for? What should I make for everyone to eat? These questions are just a sliver to a whole stress pie.The holiday season is a time for familie...
FARGO - When holiday cheer increases, so does our stress level. What's my budget? Who should I buy gifts for? What should I make for everyone to eat? These questions are just a sliver to a whole stress pie.
The holiday season is a time for families and friends to gather together, which can lead to stressful planning, deadlines and overspending.
This year, instead of feeling overwhelmed, follow these tips for making the holidays a little less stressful and more cheerful for everyone.
Set a holiday budget and stick to it.
One of the biggest stress factors during the holidays is money. Limit the amount of money you spend by setting a budget. Make a list of what you absolutely need to buy and skip the things you don't. This will not only help you save money, but will make you think twice about impulse buying reindeer slippers. If you think you can't stick to your budget, Elaina Johannessen at LSS Financial Counseling has great advice on how to trick yourself into saving money .
Remember to get enough sleep.
Not only is stress hard on your bank account, but it takes a toll on your body and overall mental health. Wrapping gifts late at night while snacking on sugar cookies is only going to push your stress level to the max. Make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Establish a regular bedtime routine and try to maintain it. Avoid eating too close to bedtime and reduce the use of electronics.
Set aside "me time."
With all the hecticness and family members depending on you, it's easy to forget to put yourself first. Set aside time each day, even if it's just 15 minutes, for some "me time." Take a bath, read a book or shamelessly listen to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" for the 11th time. Heather Wallner, 31, Fargo, has a growing family and is learning how essential "me time" can be.
"If I can't make time for myself, I try to do something I enjoy while also tackling a holiday project. I always drink a nice hot beverage while wrapping gifts so it doesn't feel like a chore," Wallner says.
Don't overdo sweets.
Calories don't count during the holiday season, right? Wrong.
Don't skip out on a healthy meal so that you can save room for more sweets. Take steps to avoid overeating. If you're going to a holiday party, make sure to eat a light snack before going so that you don't overindulge in sugary sweets.
"My trick is to make healthier treats such as dark chocolate peppermint popcorn. That way you won't feel guilty eating it," Wallner says.
Keep gifts simple.
It's easy to buy your loved ones exactly what they asked for, but that also takes time and money. Keep gifts simple and remember that it's the thought that counts, not the gifts. Dustin Splett, 26, of Fargo is a recent college graduate who would rather spend his paychecks on student loans rather than unrealistic gifts.
"To keep holiday spending low, my family each draws a name and buys for one person. That way everyone gets a gift and we still get to spend time together," Splett says.
Remember the meaning.
Food and gifts are common holiday traditions, but don't lose sight of what the holidays are really for - spending quality time with your loved ones. LSS Financial Counselor Mary Ellen Kaluza advocates for spending less money and making more memories this holiday season.