Enjoy Your Holidays -- with No Stress. Is that possible?

by Wendy, www.retirement-online.com

Oh, I really DO love fruitcake!

Oh, I really DO love fruitcake!

While the holidays have the power to bring lots of joyful times in your life, AND lots of lost memories, they can bring on a great deal of stress. The stress comes from many different situations such as the work you have to do, family disagreements, scheduling conflicts, and money issues.

No matter what situation your stress is coming from, it's important to take a step back from the stress to hold onto your retired sanity. We are retired, we desire peaceful holidays... can it be?

1. Get Your Shopping Done Early. When you get your shopping out of the way early, you can save yourself stress on a number of levels. You won't be battling other shoppers during peak shopping times. My husband stood in line for half hour for cranberry sauce at the deli, yesterday... as people got madder and madder for the long wait ,and many left. Shop Early - You won't have to worry about quick decisions on gifts. You'll also have the time to budget so that your money can stretch to the best of your ability.

2. Take Time for Yourself. We often take the time to think of others during the holidays. While that's very important, after all, this is the holiday season -- you can't forget about yourself. Remember to schedule "me" time. In order to take good care of others, you first have to take care of your own health and well being.

3. Keep a Cool Head. While it may not be a problem with every family, sometimes the togetherness causes conflicts and clashing. Before you enter a family holiday event, tell yourself that you'll take the high road. You don't want an argument to ruin your chance at fun during the holidays. I am praying this doesn't happen to you.

4. Keep Up Your Exercise Routine. Sometimes the thrill of the holiday season can disrupt your daily routines. While a little break from exercise might not make a big difference, it makes a difference when it comes to your stress level.

5. Watch your Diet. We all love our holiday foods and will be indulging around the holidays, but stay in control. Watch what you're putting into your body, because large amounts of certain foods can definitely affect how you feel. The two big ones to watch are caffeine and sweets.

6. Buy Yourself a Gift. I always do. Heck, we are out shopping, and spending time in the stores, watch for FUN gifts for yourself, especially things on sale! While you've been budgeting money for everyone else, there's no reason why you can't buy yourself a little something. You can even schedule yourself a massage, which is an excellent way to maintain a healthy stress level.

7. Get Enough Rest. The excitement definitely kicks in during the holidays. Sometimes you'll lose sleep because of stress, and sometimes you'll lose sleep because of excitement. Either way, you'll be doing yourself a favor by concentrating on relaxation and getting to bed at a good hour. Sleep Matters.

8. Learn to Delegate. If you come to the realization that you've been put in charge of too many things, tell them you simply can't do it all. Be honest -- tell them and delegate the tasks. Sometimes we've done the dinners for years, and continue to do so. Maybe it's time for your grown kids to take dinner tasks on. Right? They might think you'd be hurt, if they suggest it, but ask. Be wise enough to know when you need some help and ask for it.

9. Be Flexible. Of course you have an image in your head of how you'd like certain holiday events to play out. You also know that things don't always go according to plan. Realize that certain things will not be perfect, and you won't feel so much stress if things do go wrong. Go with the flow and have back up plans if necessary.

Wishing you the BEST Holidays!

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