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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! holiday-dinner-prepWe’ve officially entered the middle of December, our ground is fully covered in snow, we’re slowly making our way through our shopping lists and likely have dozens of tasks that are in need to completing before the Big Day arrives. Is it just us, or could the most wonderful time of year also be replaced with the most stressful time of the year?

After doing a bit of research, it appears that we are not alone in our thinking. According to a poll conducted by the American Psychological Association, nearly a quarter of Americans feel “extreme stress” due to a lack of time, a lack of money or the pressure to give or get presents.

Fortunately, not all is lost. We don’t have to wish away the holidays, but rather take a few practical measures to minimize the stress that comes with the season:

  • Make a master list

    One of the biggest challenges of having so many items to tackle is that it is tough to keep them all straight. Make a master list where you have everything from presents to buy, goodies to bake and cards to mail.

  • Ask for help

    Often, many of the holiday tasks are assigned to one person in a household. If it just so happens, that you are that person, ask for help. You’ll get back by time by divvying up responsibilities and likely have more fun. Doesn’t enjoying a glass of eggnog while addressing envelopes with a loved one sound more delightful than completing them alone?

  • Stick with a budget

    Before shopping, determine a budget and stay committed to sticking with it. Remember, that money can’t buy happiness; it’s the thought that matters most. If you’re looking for alternatives to store bought gifts, create homemade gifts or donate to a charity in your recipient’s name, Lions Pride comes to mind.

  • Learn to say no

    Saying yes to too many obligations can leave you feeling overwhelmed, and eventually resentful. Don’t feel like you have to participate in all holiday activities; we guarantee that your loved ones will understand.

  • Take a break

    Although it may sound counterintuitive, remember the importance of rest during times of stress. Make time for yourself. Find an activity that clears your mind. Consider partaking in an activity that you can only do this time of year, like listening to Christmas music or taking a walk and admiring the lights.

We all agree that this time of year is definitely a busy one, but don’t let the stress of your To Do list stop you from enjoying the magic of the season. Remember to take a step back and truly think about the reason behind the season and enjoy every moment of the holidays. They will be here and gone before we know it!

Happy Holidays from Lions Pride.