UNC Health Care

Wellness Wednesday: Stress Less This Holiday Season

Holidays are a time to bond with family and friends, but it is hard to find time or energy. Shopping can also cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. If you have a case of the holiday crazies, here are a few ways to cope!

 1. Plan a get-together with one person at a time, or meet in small, intimate groups. Have coffee, go shopping, or have lunch. This might relieve that ‘family duty’ you might feel on the actual holiday.

 2. Make gift tags with personalized messages telling each person what they add to your life or the world.

3. Gather a group of friends, contribute money and exchange recipes. Make the recipes, spend the day with the friends and everyone goes home with treats to give away for the holidays.

4. Do not charge anything on your credit card after July, which can allow you to decrease any debt you have accumulated before the holiday season – or do your holiday shopping on a cash-only basis.

5. Buy holiday items throughout the year when they are on sale to use for office party gifts, your child’s teacher or other acquaintances. This will leave you time during the holidays to shop more selectively for those closest to you.

6. Give gift certificates that tap into a hobby or talent like baking, cooking, sewing, or simple things like babysitting and housekeeping.

7. To avoid holiday chaos at toy stores, shop for kids at the beginning of the season so you don’t have to endure crowds and long lines.

8. Check out the stores for the most popular items and hit eBay. You might find a good deal!

 9. Start a holiday account at your bank. Saving $20 a month will put a nice chunk of change in your pocket before the holidays. You can also put a portion of your paycheck, loose change, or birthday money in a box to save for holiday shopping.

10. Organize a gift exchange among adults in your family. Buy the children individual gifts, but draw names among the adults. This will save you a lot of money and time.

11. Host a brunch or dessert party instead of a sit-down dinner.

12. Purchase gift certificates to the stores where you will shop during the holidays. Use these to do your holiday shopping, so you don’t feel as if the money is coming out of your pocket all at once.