The stress and hustle and bustle of the holiday season are enough to make the most collected citizens frazzled and even the most frugal individual overspend. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed when you have so many events to attend, gifts to check off of your list, and stores stuffing catalogs into your mail daily urging you to buy, buy, buy!
There are certainly ways to help you manage stress this season that don’t involve shopping ‘til you drop or inhaling an entire pumpkin pie!
Plan ahead (as much as possible!) - If you leave your holiday shopping until Christmas Eve, you will spend more money. This is practically a proven fact. If you can try to plan ahead this season it can definitely save you time and a lot of stress. One tip we use is keeping a gift book. By jotting down gift ideas all year long when as they come to you, you will have gifts that are thoughtful, and you won’t have to spend money on less appealing last-minute gifts.
Get outside and move - Fresh air and physical exercise are in fact, ALL they are cracked up to be! Getting outside in the fresh air and moving are the ultimate stress-relievers and will also help offset all of the rich foods that can lead to holiday weight gain. If you can’t commit an hour a day to a gym session, don’t stress. There are so many ways of getting in your exercise this time of year that don’t involve pounding away at a treadmill. You can break up your exercise into smaller segments that will still offer great benefits. Taking the stairs into your office, and then a nice brisk walk before dinner will help towards getting moving! If the kids are hanging out all day watching The Grinch marathon on TV for the 3rd time this month, organize a game of tag or get everyone bundled up to build a snowman.
Take time for YOU! - Oh boy, I can almost hear the collective eye roll when people read the phrase ‘take time for you,’ but after quite a few stressful holiday seasons under our belts, we firmly believe this piece of advice shouldn’t be ignored! By taking just a few moments out of each hectic day to center yourself, you’ll be more prepared and refreshed to deal with holiday madness. Find something that calms you down and take some time each day to treat yourself. It could be a long soak in the tub, sitting down with the newspaper and coffee, driving around to look at holiday lights, or anything else that makes you feel good.
Remember what it's all about - It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the holiday season just by turning on the TV or leaving the house. Advertisements of perfect-looking TV families baking cookies in designer duds can make you feel like you are somehow lagging behind in the holiday cheer department. Don’t be let marketing campaigns contribute to holiday stress. Remember, the most important things in your life often aren’t tangible. Getting together with friends and loved ones this winter is far more important than flat screen TVs or cashmere sweaters.
About the Authors
Adriane and Claudia Kiss are “The Kissters.” They are 20-something sisters, living in New York City, who like to find frugal ways to Live Large on Small Change.
Visit the Kissters’ blog for more of their work.
Follow them on Twitter: @thekissters
Also connect with them on Thrifty & Green's facebook page.