The holidays are coming, and that usually means extra time with family, travel, time off, shopping for presents, extra cooking and much more that is not part of your everyday life. For these reasons, it’s easy to stress during a time that can be very festive and joyful.
Here are some tips to enjoy the holidays more and stress less this season:
1. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish.
This includes all the cooking, cleaning, inviting guests, and meal planning. Taking your list out of your head and put it on paper already reduces the stress level you are beginning to feel.
Once you make a list, schedule everything on a calendar, whether it is a paper calendar or on your phone. If you use your phone, take advantage of the reminder options. Make it a goal to be home and not running to the store for last-minute ingredients on your main cooking day.
Quick note: Contact each person or family you are inviting personally. Do not rely on word of mouth for inviting friends and family to your get-together.
2. Plan for a few more people than how many RSVP.
For example, if you are inviting 15 people, and 10 of them say they can come, still plan for 15. For one, you never know how hungry people will be. Second, it’s better to have a small amount of extra food rather than try to make your mashed potatoes stretch. Plus, you will want to have leftovers so that you do not necessarily need to cook the day after!
3. Make time for yourself.
Yes, there is much to do, and when you take time to rest, you will feel rejuvenated and more energized. When you have more energy, you can be more productive! When you are rested, you will be more cheerful.
Take time for a bath or massage, and you will feel that much better too! If nothing else, schedule time for a walk by yourself to clear your mind. Taking time to rest will keep you healthy and sane. Yes, I know from experience. 🙂
4. Accept help.
If your aunt makes the best pumpkin pie on earth and offers to bring some, thank her very kindly and accept the offer. She will feel appreciated, and you will be able to tell everyone what a wonderful pumpkin pie baker your aunt is.
Doing all by yourself is difficult. If you have children, they can dust, vacuum, peel potatoes (if they are old enough), wash dishes, clean restrooms, set the table, and do many other tasks.
Also, if a guest offers to come an hour early, cheerfully accept the help. If you finish everything before she comes over, you’ll have some extra time to spend with her one-on-one.
5. Keep your immune system strong.
You can read my posts here and here on tips to stay healthy. When you have so much to do and you are not feeling well, your stress levels can definitely go up! Plus, you don’t want to be making your food while you are ill and possibly causing your guests to become ill as well.
6. Avoid the stores and shop online for your gifts.
Here is an easy way for you to shop without leaving your home. Navigating traffic, circling the parking lot three times to find a spot, and elbowing your way through crowds can definitely increase your blood pressure and your stress levels! If you would like thoughtful gift ideas for hostesses, co-workers, family, friends, and loved ones, I can help you. Feel free to email me.
7. Relax and take time to be with your company.
You’ve spent time planning, cooking, cleaning, and preparing for your company to arrive. Instead of stressing about whether there is enough apple pie when you have two other desserts, enjoy quality time with the guests you have. This may be the last time you will see them for a couple of months–or longer.
What is the main cause of your holiday stress? Please share in the comments.
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