- Set a budget. Holidays are an easy time to overspend. Make a conscious effort to sit down with your partner and establish spending guidelines and a holiday budget before you start purchasing gifts for your friends and family.
- Expectation management. Your holiday dinner does not have to be on caliber with “Martha Stewart’s Celebrity Dinner.”Prepare a few simple dishes using recipes that you have tried before, which will greatly reduce your level of stress on the day of your dinner. Ten years from now, your family won’t remember that your gravy was too thin or that your turkey was a little dry. When all else fails, you can go to one of the many on post dining facilities for a holiday meal!
- Clearly state your needs and wants. If you don’t feel that you can support a house full of visitors or that particular in-law that makes you frantic, share your concerns with your family. Be honest with your partner and children about your plans and goals for the holiday to reduce stress and anxiety during this busy season. No one wants lingering resentments to sour the season.
- Take time for yourself. It is easy to get, “wrapped up,” in making the holiday memorable for everyone around you. If you are anxious or frustrated, you won’t be able to truly enjoy the season. Talk with your partner and children about fun things you can do for one another and for yourself.
- Enjoy making new traditions with your family. One of the marvelous things about being part of a military family is that everywhere you go, you have a chance to create an experience worth remembering. Try adding an island flare to your family traditions. Add a touch of paradise to your holiday tree or meal. Enjoy the beautiful weather on Oahu, while your friends back home are warming their feet after a day in the snow.
The holiday season is a time for celebrating, eating too much food, and spending time with the ones you hold dear. However, it only takes one hurtful comment like, “that is not how Mom made our holiday dinner,” to throw families into a tailspin. Whether you have been on island for one month or three years, there are many ways families can plan ahead to avoid stressful holiday experiences and enjoy their time together.
Here are five tips to reduce holiday stress:
If you need help with ways to cope with the stress of the holiday season or support around the issues of holiday spending, your ACS Ohana can help. ACS offers stress classes, financial counseling, couples communication classes and more! Call 808-655-4ACS (4227) for more information or to sign up for classes today!