Holidays are a time of high stress. Despite the delight of not having to work for several days or even weeks, holidays come with pressures.
These can include catching up with family, giving gifts, consuming to keep the economy buoyant, and having enough fun to see us through to the next holiday.
Here are ten tips for enjoying things that little bit more without all the stress and after-effects.
Don’t go into debt
Each Christmas season, the media will, like clockwork, report on Christmas spending.
This is the time of year when much of the retail sector depends on consumers to spend big. We often are made to feel like we aren’t doing our bit for the economy if we aren’t giving our credit cards a bootcamp-grade workout. But you don’t need to do it.
Gifts need to be thoughtful – not expensive. Why not draw on any talents to make a homemade gift or a promise of services (like babysitting or lawnmowing), or perhaps give a personally designed IOU card for a gift you can purchase when the Christmas sales are on?
Or why not go green and buy quality second hand products?
Holiday at home
One way to avoid debt is to not undertake an expensive holiday during this higher-priced, peak tourism season.
Bali can wait for later. Instead, explore your own backyard with a renewed perspective. Remember, international tourists pay serious money to visit our beautiful beaches, national parks and recreational playgrounds.
If you can’t avoid a nagging feeling that your neighbour holidaying in Europe has outdone you, try thinking again.
Back to nature
Another upside to holidaying at home: these breaks are the rare chance we all have to have some serious downtime.
There are plenty of things you can enjoy with your family and friends much closer to home – nature, for example.
Taking walks for a meditative experience in nature.
This holiday season, why not engage your playful creativity to invent ideas for simple fun and joy?
Let’s celebrate the fact we are in the sun in the southern hemisphere and forget the carols that dream “of a white Christmas”. Picnics packed with our extraordinary foods and wines in the hidden beauty spots known only to locals.
What about playtime? Kids remind us that fun can be had with things at hand – a frisbee, a puppy, or their peers.
Moderation in pleasures
This is the hard one at this time of year.
For many the festive season is about enjoying good food and drink in the company of loved ones. But don’t let your spirit of the season be undone by the “spirits” of the season.
Hangovers and food babies are not a good look – so why don’t we just avoid them this year?
Think of others and give back
The end of the year provides us with a chance to understand the blessings we have enjoyed in 2018.
One way to feel really good this holiday season is to take a little time to give back.
Find some reflective time
The end of the year also offers time to think about the year that was and set some intentions for the year to come. While the joy of being together is a feature of this time, also try to create some reflective time for yourself too.
Resolutions for new beginnings
This reflective time can give us an opportunity to take stock of our lives and use the traditions of the New Year to make 2019 better and more balanced.
We joke about resolutions, their making and their breaking, but these quaint traditions have some folk wisdom behind them.
Each new year offers new opportunities to transform some things we would like to change.
Travel with pets
When we do go on holidays, we have found in the past that our best friends have sometimes been less then welcome. I speak of our dogs and cats.
Let your pets enjoy the holiday season too.
The impact of technology, social media and instant communications results in some workers finding work creeping into their after hours’ lives. This holiday, what about trying a digital detox and get off the mobile, the email and Facebook for a specified period of time?
In fact, digital detox holidays are a “thing” now. That many of our iconic national parks don’t have reception is a bonus.
– as amended
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)