Four prompts to help you avoid holiday stress this year

As we enter the holiday season, it’s common to feel a bit overwhelmed. While it’s a joyful time of year, it can also be a time filled with stress. WIth planning, expenses, and traveling, there are quite a few factors to keep track of. Instead of procrastinating and letting the stress build up, make an effort to get ahead of the hectic holiday season.


Jumpstart the holiday planning by getting all of the festive details squared away with these helpful prompts:


1. Location

It may be common sense for you to know where each of the holidays are celebrated each year. Maybe Thanksgiving is always done at your aunt’s house, Christmas is done at your grandmother’s, and you host New Year’s Eve. However, it’s important that you communicate the location of each event to everyone in advance. If you are in a new relationship, you’ll want to ensure your holiday plans can line up with theirs. Plus, if it’s your partner’s first time at your family Thanksgiving, you will want to give a heads up so there’s enough turkey and mashed potatoes to go around.


2. Travel

If you are traveling from out of town for any holidays this season, you’ll want to make sure you have all of your accommodations prepared. It’s best to buy airline travel as soon as possible, but there’s more of a rush to do so when it comes to the holidays. With more people than usual traveling, the limited seats become a hot commodity. You’ll also want to book your hotel, or check with your family that there is still a guest room that you can stay in. Likewise, you’ll want to make sure your guest room is tidy if you are hosting out-of-towners.


3. Budget

The holidays are a notoriously expensive time of year. If you plan ahead, you can avoid some of those last minute stresses. First, you’ll want to consider your role in each holiday. Are you in charge of the turkey for Thanksgiving? Ham for Christmas? Champagne for New Year’s? Making a list of the essentials that you are expected to provide will help you start your budget. Once you have those costs estimated, you can budget how much you have to spend on other items, like gifts. To avoid forgetting anyone, make a list of everyone you need to get a present for. Then, crosscheck the list with a few people close to you, like your mother and your best friend! Once you have everyone accounted for, you can focus on finding deals to get the most bang for your buck.


4. Gratitude

With all of the stress that comes with the holidays, it can be difficult to take a step back and be thankful for the chaos. As you plan for the holidays, write down some of your favorite holiday memories, or what you are looking forward to this year. Most of all, make sure you allow yourself to take breaks as you need them. This time of year can be hard for many people, whether it’s due to the loss of loved ones, or the stresses associated with money. Be kind to yourself by sitting back, watching holiday movies, and sipping on hot chocolate whenever you need to. By planning ahead, hopefully you can find more joy and less stress this holiday season!

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