The holiday season begins with Thanksgiving and continues through the new year. For many, this season has become stressful and overwhelming. Between dealing with the pandemic and the uncertainty of the future there is extra stress all around. Here are four tips on how minimalists reduce stress during holidays.
Plan Ahead for Your Bubble
The season comes at the same time every year, and yet so many people try to fit too many social obligations into these six weeks. To relieve some of the stress, plan a pre-Thanksgiving party for your bubble!
Have a theme of simplifying and ask your bubble to each brings a simple holiday dish with copies of the recipe for other guests. This will reduce the need to cook for the event and provide guests with ideas for their own holiday parties. By having this occasion before the season starts, you eliminate the need to have another party during the busy time of year.
Another way to decrease the amount of time spent in the kitchen is to hold a cookie exchange. This traditional activity can be done in the middle of November if all recipes used make cookies that can be frozen. Keeping a variety of treats frozen will eliminate the need for last-minute rushes and provide extra time to enjoy other activities.
If starting the party season early seems too daunting, consider holding a winter get together in mid-January instead of the traditional Christmas party in December. This change may be particularly appreciated by your pandemic bubble who live in northern climates where the snow keeps many indoors for the remainder of the winter season.
Reduce Gift Giving
Contrary to the established marketing machine, Christmas does not require the giving of gifts to make it a happy holiday. While giving gifts to children is a common practice, consider reducing the number of gifts each child receives. Finding the perfect gift for all of the loved ones in your life can be overwhelming.
Many minimalists reduce stress during holidays by donate to a charity in their names instead. Other alternatives include:
- Donating money is to purchase items needed by a local homeless shelter, women’s shelter, or other charitable organization and donate these items on behalf of the people on your gift list.
- Suggesting to family members that they can do the same instead of giving you gifts. This will reduce their stress and can help refocus family gatherings on spending time with each other instead of worrying about what gifts are being given to whom.
Focus Activities on Family
After reducing the need for shopping for a lot of gifts and moving some social obligations to alternative dates has been accomplished, there will be extra time available for having fun with the family. Minimalists tend to:
- Spend time together with friends and family decorating for the holidays
- Make new decorations rather than buying
- Set aside time to make a favorite holiday dish
Attend local events together, such as concerts, high school plays, or neighborhood decorating contests. Spend an evening playing a board game or watching a favorite movie on TV. Relax with a cup of hot chocolate or other favorite warm beverage after playing outside in the snow. Any time spent as a family, doing any activity can become a special memory for everyone.
Start a New Tradition of Volunteering
Many charitable organizations need a ton of help during this season of giving. Some minimalists reduce stress during the holiday season by choosing a local charity and volunteering some time. Examples of giving include:
- Serving a Thanksgiving meal to the homeless or ring a bell for the Salvation Army.
- They also consider adopting a needy family for the holiday season and help provide them with items they need as well as food for a holiday meal.
- Minimalists encourage children to choose a toy to purchase for the Toys for Tots drive.
- They also tend to organize an outing to a local senior center to spend some time reading to the people living there or singing holiday songs with them. Whatever activity that is chosen should be done as a family to make the event meaningful and memorable.
Reducing stress during the holiday season as a minimalist is all bout making choices. Choose what is important to you and focus your attention on those things!