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3 tips to avoid stress during the holidays

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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but can also be one of the most stressful times of the year as well! So many gifts to buy, travel, family event after family event, parties to attend, end of the year things, etc etc. Today I wanted to share 3 simple tips with you guys to help you fight stress during the holiday season. I want y’all to enjoy the remainder of this year / holiday season and soak in every second! Don’t let stress get the best of you, making you miss out on the beauty of this season!

tip #1: lists

This seems like such a no-brainer, but a lot of times the cause of stress around this time of year is just the number of tasks on your to-do list seems never ending.  Making lists will help you be so much more productive and also make your “to-do’s” seem way more manageable! Instead of waking up in the morning and frantically jumping into your day, scrambling to get things done…take 10 minutes in the morning to write out what has to get done that day. Start your day off with a game plan. I personally like to make my lists in a note on my phone, so I can have it with me at all times. But if you prefer to write things out, get a piece of paper and write down every single thing you need to do that day. “Buy mom’s gift. Mail Christmas cards,” etc.

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Then, tackle your list one thing at a time. Fully focus on buying your mom’s Christmas present and do not do anything else until that task is done. Once it’s complete, move onto the next thing. The holiday season can feel so stressful because you have so much to do that you kind of end up doing nothing. You’ll jump from one task to the next and before you know it, you’ve actually accomplished nothing that day, and then you end up more stressed! So, make your to-do list for the day, and focus on completing one task a time. If your entire list doesn’t get completed that day, move the uncompleted tasks onto your list for the next day!

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tip #2: no phone zone

Another reason the holiday season can be stressful is because of ALL the family events. “Mom’s side of the family Christmas”, “husband’s dad’s side of the family Christmas” etc etc. If you’re an introvert like me…this much time around this many people can be stressful and exhausting haha. BUT. It’s also a really special time to get to see so much family that you probably don’t see much throughout the year. So, instead of dreading the number of family things you have to attend…enjoy each event as its own separate event. If you are heading to your husband’s mom’s family Christmas…try leaving your phone in the car or in another room and just focus on your family for those few hours. Engage in good conversation, ask thoughtful questions, focus on growing your relationship with certain family members during this time. When you’re with family, it can be tempting to just sit in the living room with everyone, but be on your phone. Your phone can make you miss out on so many great conversations and opportunities to encourage a family member or grow closer in your relationships with them! I know family clan be a lot…but this is a really unique time of year where you get the opportunity to be around so many people all at once, so make the most of it! Make lasting memories at these family Christmas events. Take the time to encourage your cousin or get to know your aunt better! Leave your phone at home.

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tip #3: do holiday things you enjoy

This really is such a magical time of year! So many Christmas lights to look at, yummy Christmas desserts to bake, Christmas eve services, etc! We still have about 2 weeks left of “the holidays” so maybe make a list of fun holiday things you could go do with your family! Maybe cozy up one night in matching Christmas pj’s and watch a Christmas movie, or bake Christmas cookies with your daughter, or go ice skating at a rink with a big Christmas tree! There are so many fun things to do this time of year, and I think we can get caught up on our busy to-do lists and overpacked calendars and miss out on why this season really is so special! Don’t let your stress make you miss out on all of the fun things you and your family can do together this time of year!

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Most of all though, the best way you can fight stress during this holiday season is to remember the true reason we are celebrating Christmas. We are celebrating the fact that Jesus came to earth to be born as a baby, in order to die for our sins so we could have eternal life with Him. WHOA. That alone is so much greater than any Christmas gift you could buy or Christmas card or holiday dessert recipe. Jesus is the reason we are celebrating, and there is no stress involved in that!

Thanks for reading!

xo Lauren

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