This year, however, as we sat exhausted after a super crazy thanksgiving weekend we began to talk about how to tweak our holiday routine so that it is enjoyable, relaxing, and so that everyone stays healthy through to the new year. In talking to friends and clients I have discovered that I am not the only one who has started lanning and preparing, and so the topic for this week’s blog was born ... How to de-stress your holiday season.
With only 56 days left before Christmas Day, the pressure isn’t on yet but if you can take a few simple steps now I guarantee you will be more relaxed and happy come the big day. There is absolutely no order to this list, and it is my hope that something in here will help to ease your holiday stress (even just a little bit).
So here we go, 30 ways to take the stress out of your holiday
1. Reflect on what has worked in the past and what hasn’t ... life is all about learning from the past, so by taking a couple of minutes to evaluate what worked (and what hasn’t) you can change how this year will go.
2. Choose a theme and get excited about it ... whether you choose to go crafty, like I have, or simple and elegant, choosing a theme will help you to streamline your holiday gift giving and decorating, less choices always makes things less
3. Create a map of what your holiday season will look like ... on a calendar mark off what social events are happening, what has to be done when, what baking needs to be done, etc. This will allow you to have a clear picture of what the month will look like, and you can come up with a plan for how to get everything done without scrambling.
4. Simplify ... either do it, delegate it or dump it! Once you have your map, consider everything (without emotion) and mark as do, delegate, or dump. There are a lot of things we do
every holiday season that doesn’t really need to be done, it just adds to the chaos and the stress.
5. Set a budget and stick to it ... if you are smart about your shopping (or crafting) no one will know if you spent $20 or $50, it’s not about who bought you the most expensive gift, it’s
about gifting something that you think the person will really really love!
6. Give in a way that gives you joy VS. Giving out of obligation ... if you give this way your gifts will be loved guarantee.
7. Start now! ... buying or making slowly over the next 56 days will allow you the time to sit back and relax later, without feeling the stress or the chaos of last minute shopping.
8. Make it fun ... if it’s not fun, why do it??
9. Be organized ... this is the key to keeping stress to a minimum not only during the holidays but every day.
10. Less is more ... you don’t have to put out ALL of your decorations, and you don’t have to go crazy with gifts. Remember that clutter = chaos so keep the clutter controlled. And keep in mind that if you give someone 10 gifts will they
remember everything? Probably not, but if you give 1 or 2 really meaningful gifts they will defiantly remember.
11. Make food ahead of time and freeze it!
12. Do a cookie exchange to you don’t have to bake everything ... and as a bonus you will get to try everyone’s
13. Get the kids involved ... seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes brings the magic of the season to light again, and their excitement and enthusiasm is contagious.
14. Book time to do something for YOU!
15. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect ... no one will notice that you didn’t get your bedroom clean cause they shouldn’t be in there anyways. Don’t sweat the small things that don’t matter.
16. Buy or order your Christmas cards now so they are stamped and addressed and ready to mail for Dec 1, rather
than starting then. Or you could take an idea from my Great Aunt and do christmas calls instead of cards and actually talk to the people you don't see regularly.
17. Get plenty of rest! ... take a nap when you need, no one likes a grouchy Grinch.
18. Go pot luck ... just because you are hosting doesn’t mean that you have to kill yourself preparing all the food.
19. Play Christmas carols to get you in the spirit.
20. Sit down and enjoy your favorite Christmas movie with the ones you love .. especially nice on a cold snowy day.
21. Wrap gifts as you go so you can relax on Dec 24 rather than hosting a wrapathon.
22. Save some of your gatherings until Jan ... it will take the pressure off of your December and give you something to look forward to.
23. If you can’t stand the crowds at the mall try shopping online ... as an added bonus most stores will gift wrap and ship right to the recipient which is great if you have family that is spread out.
24. Take time to meditate, center yourself and reflect.
25. Exercise to bust stress.
26. Keep your diet balanced ... cookies for dinner is generally not advised, lol.
27. When in doubt, go homemade ... who doesn’t love a pretty box of homemade gingerbread or chocolates ... bonus is that they are easy and inexpensive.
28. Spread out your holiday traditions so you have time to enjoy them.
29. Get online and get inspired ... there is nothing better than a quick look through pinterest to get you in the holiday spirit and give you tons of ideas too.
30. Remember what the season is Really about!
I hope that with these suggestions you will have a happy, relaxing holiday season. Be Happy.