It’s that time of the year again and you’ll be in a tizzy with requests that are more like orders from Sergeant I-Want-it-All, such as, “Dad, I want … all my friends have it!” Chances are, the much-feared holiday stress has already taken root, and is feeding upon your vulnerability. No matter how much you love the holidays, stress and anxiety are the other side of this season of cheer.

Is there a way out?

Yes there is. Dads can beat the holiday stress. All it takes is a little planning, and being proactive. Here are a few simple tips to help you keep unwanted anxiety at bay during Christmas:

  1. Lists:  A good old shopping list is a surefire way to keep a tab on what is necessary and what is unwanted expense.
  2. One-stop-shopping: Try to buy all gifts and presents on a single day; or group shopping needs according to categories (for example, Toys for Kids, Gifts for Grandparents, Gift for Wifey Dear, Gifts for Near and Dear Ones, Gifts for Not-so-near-and-not-so-Dear Ones, etc.). This way you will cover most items without having to hop from store to store.
  3. Time yourself: Allot the time you are likely to spend at a store. This will help you organize your
    shopping itinerary.
  4. No Coffee Please: Avoid caffeine while shopping. It is a little hard to imagine, but do try this one. Caffeine levels add to stress inducing substances within your body, which could only worsen your anxiety levels.
  5. Relax: Try simple breathing exercises when waiting-in a line or at a restaurant. Deep breathing helps lower stress related hormones and lets you ease tension.

One often ignores these simple things in a hurry. So, go out there, have all the fun this holiday season, and banish stress as just a memory.

Paul Banas, Founder of GreatDad.com