Simplifying the Holiday Season

Easy Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

Holiday_17The holiday season is a time of togetherness and sharing special moments that produce those warm-and-fuzzy feelings. But they can also be pretty hectic, especially for busy military families. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed this holiday season, there are some simple things you can do to reduce stress, take it easy, and simplify your life without sacrificing the experiences.

SHOP SMARTER

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and overspend around the holidays. Luckily, there are lots of ways keep costs low and avoid carrying extra holiday debt into the new year. Check out our Holiday Spending Planner for all sorts of tips, money-saving blogs and guides, financial apps to track spending, and ways to involve the military community in the spirit of giving.

Also, remember that you don’t have to go hog wild on the gifts. While it may feel nice to give something special to everyone on your list, holding yourself to that kind of standard can be a pretty big burden on your budget. When you do buy presents, consider gifting people experiences rather than material possessions. Between concerts, musicals, plays, movie tickets, and restaurant gift cards, a night out on the town can inspire lasting memories. Plus, it saves you from the stress of trying to find the perfect item.

BE FLEXIBLE

Do you have a closet full of decorations you’re just not that fond of? You don’t have to put it all out – donate it to Goodwill! Traditions are always fun, but sometimes your kids grow out of them or they lose their luster over time. There’s nothing wrong with leaving old traditions behind or adopting new ones. For example, sometimes spending a quiet evening at home watching movies is just as rewarding as driving around town looking at lights. Some of the best experiences happen spontaneously, so build some flex time into your schedule and don’t be afraid to try new things.

IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO

Feeling stretched a little too thin? Do you really need to buy everyone a gift? Do you really need to go to that friend-of-a-friend’s dinner party? Do you really need to travel in bad weather to a place you’re not that thrilled to go?

Give yourself permission to say no! It’s your adventure, so you should be the one to map it out. Don’t feel like you have to work overtime to make other people happy. Military life is stressful enough as is. Take some time to sit back and relax this holiday season.

Jake Butler

About the author: Jake Butler

Jake Butler is a staff writer at Pioneer Services who understands the challenges facing modern military families. He writes informative and entertaining pieces about military life, financial education and everything in between. Follow Jake on Google+.

Contact: Jake Butler

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