The holiday season can be a rather busy time, and according to a survey from Consumers Report, 90 percent of Americans experience stress over holidays. Holiday stress can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, and anger. Fortunately, taking a step back and creating an alternative, minimalist holiday experience can help reduce stress and help you enjoy a more meaningful experience.
Minimalists strive to reduce clutter and unnecessary elements, for a more peaceful existence. One principle of minimalist living is that happiness is not found in possessions—so, many minimalist purge unnecessary items from their household and diet and their life, in general. Minimalist lifestyles can benefit the environment and the community by limiting waste and focusing on the essentials. This focus on the essentials can help reduce stress, which could be especially beneficial during the holiday season.
Holiday Tips for the Minimalist Lifestyle
Listed below are a few tips that can help you prepare for a stress-free alternative holiday season.
- Alternative meals. Planning and making a holiday meal can be very stressful. Discovering minimalist alternatives can reduce prep and cooking time and leave more opportunities for family bonding. Smaller meals with easily prepared dishes (like salads) could be a solution. Having a regular meal for dinner and a traditional holiday dessert is a great way of celebrating with less stress.
- Alternative holiday cards. Greeting cards are a holiday staple, but a generic card isn’t very personal. All the effort of buying cards, finding current addresses, and signing, stamp, and sending the cards, could cause additional stress. Instead of holiday cards, consider holiday calls. They are more personal and appreciated—plus it eliminates waste.
- Alternative gatherings and pastimes. Sometimes making holiday plans, in general, can cause stress. Attending all the holiday parties, school pageants, and holiday volunteering drives can be stressful. Then there’s the stress of planning holiday gatherings or travels to consider. This holiday, have a free-for-all—simply go with the flow and don’t feel obligated to make commitments. Focus on making memorable experiences rather than the events.
Bonus: Create traditions that fit you, don’t try to fit other traditions. There are many holiday traditions that are considered “a given,” like caroling, gift giving, and decorating. For your holiday planning, take a different approach. Consider creating your own unique holiday. Instead of giving gifts to family members, offer them your service for cooking meals for a week, carpooling, or cleaning the garage. You can save money, prevent waste, and create a more fulfilling experience for everyone.