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  • Writer's pictureDr. Luisa Bryce

Win the holidays with cheer: 5 simple tips for a stress-free holiday season

The holiday season is here. Wahoo! Or is bah-humbug? Although the holiday season brings excitement and cheer for many parents, the added stress of prepping for the holidays can be extremely overwhelming. It's easy to lose your holiday spirit, but with a little planning and focus, you can be jumping up and down with excitement alongside your kiddos. Here are 5 simple tips to minimize your stress this holiday season:

1. Start early and plan.

Squeezing in an extra errand a few days a week is less stressful and more realistic than completing all holiday prep a day or two before the holiday hits. Have a game plan before you go shopping instead of aimlessly wandering the mall. Beware of holiday marketing and avoid shopping for yourself or buying things not on your list.

2. Make a comprehensive list of holiday to-do's

Include any task outside of your normal routine (shopping, holiday parties, cooking/baking, scheduling extra time with sitters). Sit down with your partner and prioritize tasks- figure out what definitively must get done and what you'd like to get done if time allows. Divide the list and conquer. Delegate smaller tasks (like cutting out cookies and hanging decorations) to your kids with a timeline of when the task needs to be completed.

3. Have your kids write a holiday wish list

Set clear expectations that your children may not get everything on the list. Sure, you can throw a few surprises in there to heighten holiday delight, but having a list will help you prioritize when money is tight.

4. Participate in a holiday charity

Choose a charity that involves your family’s time instead of just making a donation, such as spending a few hours at a soup kitchen or buying gifts for a child in need. This may seem like an additional stressor to add to the list, but the benefit of giving back will be worth letting another task take a backseat.

5. Breathe! And embrace your children’s holiday spirit

Yeah, yeah, breathing sounds stupid and cliché, but taking a second to stop and take a few deep breaths can truly help to calm your mind and your emotions when you're feeling overwhelmed. Next, think of the pure excitement and happiness your kids express when they open a gift or wake up to fresh snow. Now take that excitement and channel it into your own actions- it's what the holiday season is all about.

It's easy to lose your holiday spirit, but with a little planning and the help of these five simple tips, your family can win the holidays.

Share this post to help your family and friends win the holidays.

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