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2021 Holiday Season Survival Checklist

By November 25, 2021 Advisor, Blog, Consumer, News

The holidays are almost here! For some, that means joy, relaxation, and quality time with friends and family. For others, the holidays can be stressful, filled with an overwhelming array of demands, overspending, overeating, and inevitable family drama.

The good news is that some practical tips can help prevent or minimize the stress and worry that can accompany the holiday season so that you start January feeling whole rather than overstretched.

Add Self-Care to Your Holiday List

To get the most out of the holidays, you should know that embracing the spirit of giving means also remembering to give back to yourself.

Self-care may mean something different for everyone, and for some, it may mean focusing on your basic needs. Sleep, exercise, and healthy meals should all be part of your holiday plan so that you feel like your best self once the party starts and when it’s over.

Yes, allow yourself to indulge in delicious and decadent holiday favourites, but make sure to sprinkle in healthy doses of your usual routine over the holidays, whether that means curling up with a book, fitting in a brisk walk or two, or preparing your daily morning power smoothie.

After you take care of your health, you need to take care of your expectations. Your best is all you can give. Give yourself permission to be human.

Give yourself permission to say no:

Say it with us, “no.” Setting boundaries doesn’t feel natural for many of us, but it is critical for our mental health, especially during the holidays. Say ‘yes’ to the important things and ‘no’ to the events or obligations that aren’t so essential.

Give yourself permission to ask for help:

There is no need to be a superhero over the holidays. We know it’s the season of giving, but you’ll have nothing to give if you’ve depleted all your reserves by the 22nd of December! Share your “to-do” list with your close friends and family and enjoy the results of a collaborative holiday celebration!

Give yourself permission to be realistic:

This holiday season, instead of perfection, focus on connection. Be with the people you love, give them your attention, and enjoy quality time together. Remember that you’re more likely to remember the laughter shared around the dinner table rather than the perfect centerpiece.

Give yourself permission to slow down:

Pace yourself. Don’t take on more than you can manage. When you are filling up your calendar, be sure to add some time in for recharging. Read a book, sip coffee by a fire, meditate, take a bubble bath; do whatever helps you unwind from any holiday stresses that tend to leave you feeling wound up!

Plan Ahead

For many of us, shopping, travelling, and social engagements are natural components of every holiday season. If you haven’t adequately planned for all the moving parts, December can end up feeling like a frantic whirlwind.

If you feel like there never seems to be enough time to get things done when the holidays come around, take the pressure off by planning. Here are a few helpful tips to minimize that last-minute rush:

  • Start your shopping early; there are fewer people, less last-minute pressure, and more time to find the best prices for the items on your list.
  • Travelling for the holidays? Book your tickets early to avoid any holiday price-hikes and have the flexibility to choose the travel times that work best for you.
  • Plan your menu well ahead of time so that if family members want to pitch in and help, you can pre-assign various components in advance.
  • Plan the events you want to attend. Schedule the most important ones first; this will give you a realistic idea of your time commitments and if you can take on more.
  • Get a head start on any DIY gifts. If you’re making a card or gift, start early, so you can enjoy the process and not feel rushed as the deadline approaches.

Set a Budget

A significant holiday stressor is money. Many people feel the pressure to buy and give gifts. Avoid the financial squeeze by budgeting. Review your finances leading up to the holidays and set a spending limit for the holiday season (and stick to it)!

Ask groups of close friends, coworkers, or family members if they would consider trying a “Secret Santa” this year, in which everyone is assigned a single secret recipient to shop for. It limits the number of gifts you buy, making it easier to stick to your budget.

Be Flexible

Public health restrictions and guidelines are constantly shifting during these uncertain times, and safety is the number one priority. Even though you may have planned a safe gathering that follows your local public health guidelines, be aware of the possibility of adjustments.

Check the latest updates as you get closer to the event or gathering and be flexible; some plans may have to be altered. Be open with your guests that this may be a possibility so that they too can plan for any last-minute adjustments.

Avoid “Doom Scrolling”

Social media can be a fun part of the holidays, and these platforms can be a great way to reconnect with family and friends, share special memories from your celebrations, and see how your contacts have spent their holidays. But there can be a dark underbelly to social media, sometimes triggering feelings of loneliness, isolation, or sadness, particularly if you feel bombarded by negative news on your social media feeds.

If you feel easily pulled into the cycle of “compare and despair” while using social media platforms, perhaps use this holiday season as an excuse to disconnect. Focus on connecting and being present with your close circle of family and friends (rather than your 300 Facebook contacts). You may be surprised how much more time you have to create special memories of your own when you’re not preoccupied watching others’ lives through a screen.

Prepare For a More Festive Holiday

By planning, slowing down, staying present, and scheduling some “me time” in your holiday schedule, you can enjoy feeling a little more festive and a little less frazzled!

However you are celebrating this year, have a wonderful holiday season!

Canada Protection Plan is one of Canada’s leading providers of No Medical and Simplified Issue Life Insurance. Our mission is to provide reliable protection and compassionate service from coast to coast with easy-to-purchase life insurance, critical illness insurance and related products. Our expanding product choices will help you get the coverage and peace of mind you need for a better financial future. Canada Protection Plan products are available through over 25,000 independent insurance advisors across Canada.

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To learn more about Canada Protection Plan and our line of comprehensive No Medical and Simplified Issue life insurance solutions, call Broker Services at 1-877-796-9090 and we will be happy to assist you or put you in contact with Sales support in your region.

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