December 10th, 2015 | Miller Advisors

Say no to a stressful holiday season

Andy Williams may fill our brains with the message that “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” but it also happens to (arguably) be the most stressful time of the year. Unless you’re a kid, (which you are not if you’re reading this) you’re likely most concerned with year-end financial planning, hosting holiday gatherings, catering to the needs of out-of-town guests, and dealing with difficult family members all while trying your best to stick to your holiday shopping budget. But does the season really have to be so hectic? The answer is no—and if you ask me, the solution is to say “no” more. Behold my “say no” suggestions to ensure a more relaxed December for both you and your loved ones.

  1. Say no to attending every party. If you’re invited to multiple holiday functions, prioritize your top 2-4 and send your regrets to the planner of the others you won’t be attending. You know yourself the best, so think about who matters to you and what matters to you and plan your schedule based off your values.
  2. Say no to buying a gift for every person in your life. Nothing feels worse than receiving a gift from someone when you don’t have one to give in return.  It’s also stressful shopping for the people in your life you don’t know on a more personal level. Everyone does gifting differently, which is great—and ’tis the season for giving, but the point is you need to know where to draw the line. If you don’t see or talk to a person on a regular basis, it’s probably OK to skip the gifting.
  3. Say no to going over your budget. Assuming you’ve made a shopping budget, (and you should if you haven’t), then you should stick to it! The frustration you might feel later will only stress you out if you don’t.
  4. Say no to peak hours at shopping malls. Unless you love a crowded shopping center and don’t mind waiting in huge lines, you’ll probably want to avoid doing any holiday shopping at major malls—particularly on a Saturday or Sunday. Most malls have special hours for shoppers who can’t make peak times and those later-evening times are usually less of a zoo. Check the hours of your local mall online, and if you’re the online shopping type, buy your gifts 2 weeks before you plan to give them.  Bellevue Square Holiday Hours
  5. Say no to the “just one more ___.” You’re at a holiday party and you find yourself saying “Oh, I’ll just have one more glass of wine.” While you’re at it, “What’s one more cookie?” The next morning you wake up dehydrated and lethargic—but you have to be at work at 8 a.m. or you have a long list of to-do’s for the day. Limit your beverages and don’t go overboard on the sweets and you’ll stay productive.
  6. Say no to last-minute houseguest planning. Say yes to following a houseguest prep checklist. Houseguest Prep Checklist

Finally, say no to thinking there’s something wrong with you for saying “no.” You’re simply making space for yourself to enjoy the season—with reduced stress. Happy Holidays!  Say “yes” to saying Merry Christmas to all!

Image: Getty