The holidays seem to be stressful for everyone. Planning for end of the year celebrations and closing the books at work may add to an already hectic schedule. Here are a few holiday tips for Fort McMurray residents to make things a little less stressful.  

  • Take time for yourself.  

People often forget to take some time for yourself. You don’t have to go to parties and social events you’re not interested in attending. It is OK to decline volunteering events and shopping invites to take some time out personally. If you have children and a partner, take some time to go on a date night or just be with your partner minus the kids.  

  • Set a budget.  

There are several variations of this advice, though it can always be used to lessen your stress. For example, set a budget for Christmas presents and then decide what you’re going to buy based on that upper limit. Then you won’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay off the credit card bills in January.  

The end of the year is a great time to draft a budget for the next year. Plan your expenses out so that you don’t have to argue over whether to pay for car repairs or the electric bill. If you regularly have more debt than money coming through, start planning now how you could reduce expenses. Maybe you could refinance your mortgage with Whalen mortgages to gain a financial margin, or you could intentionally drop activities and subscriptions you’ve left on automatic payment and do not use them so that you have more money each month.  

  • Gain perspective.  

We often get caught up in a comparison between our lives and those who seem to have more. The best way to avoid stressing out over this is to take stock of your own life and get perspective. Volunteering at a food bank or homeless shelter helps you appreciate what you have instead of becoming frustrated when you compare your life to seemingly perfect lives of others. Or start a gratitude journal. Sometimes simply listing everything you have that is good can be enough to help you feel better.  

  • Have healthy conversations.  

The holidays are a good time to have healthy conversations. Don’t get upset at family for setting the place settings wrong. Thank them for helping you. Instead of being upset that the children are overly eager for the holiday, take the time to share memories and discuss expectations. Focus on what you and your family have in common. You can create these experiences, too, by watching movies, sharing memories and playing board games. If the stress or depression is too much, a psychologist or counselor can help, do not be afraid to reach out when life gets tough; we have all experienced rough time through life. 

  • Be realistic.  

Your home doesn’t have to be perfect, and it is stressful to try to make it so. Your family get-togethers may have hardship or mistakes, but that doesn’t mean it is a disaster. Be realistic regarding your expectations, and you will reduce your stress level significantly. Managing expectations of young children can reduce stress, as well. Talk to them about how not getting a big ticket item doesn’t mean they aren’t loved or were undeserving, and that not getting a puppy or unicorn doesn’t mean they can’t be happy with what they did get.  

We hope that these holiday tips make it easier for you to truly enjoy the holidays. And Whalen Mortgages your Trusted Fort McMurray Mortgage Brokers wishes you a happy holidays.