10 Tips to De-stress this Holiday Season

As much as we “love” the holidays, they can be filled with stress and tension. Take a breath. Here are a few tips to make sure you are not hiding from your loved ones, frazzled in a broom closet devouring a box of chocolate covered cookies.

1. Be organized and plan ahead: Be realistic in how much time you have and what you would like to accomplish. Make a list of “must do/have’s” and then add a couple “I would like’s” to the mix.
2. Set a family budget / itinerary for the holiday season (sent to everyone early):
Fear of the unknown stresses people out. That way everyone has the same expectation on costs and what is expected of them. No more worrying that Uncle Joe and Aunt Linda never help.
3. Keep healthy routines:
The gym, walks, runs or whatever you do on a regular basis to be active. Being active naturally destresses the body by giving off endorphins, not to mention burns off some of that Christmas calorie coma!
4. Stop trying to be perfect:
The perfect decorations, the perfect gifts, the perfect meal, does it actually matter? Will you remember it a few years from now? Probably not. Some of the best Christmas’ I ever had were imperfect. Burnt turkey, forgetting the yams in the oven, the kids decorated only the bottom half of the tree because that’s what they could reach, it is stuff like that which makes it memorable and endearing.
5. Breathe:
Take a moment for a bubble bath, yoga, meditation or nap. You deserve time to yourself.
6. Delegate:
You do not have to do everything for everyone else. Have a pot luck Christmas Dinner or let your kids pick out the presents for their cousins or draw names for different jobs.
7. Enjoy the tree:
Sit back, turn out the lights and enjoy some Christmas music and get lost in the twinkly lights on your tree.
8. Be prepared for leftovers:
Have enough to go containers on hand to send home leftovers with party-goers. Find a fun recipe and turn your traditional turkey into something different e.g. pot pies, gumbo, soup, anything.
9. Recycle:
Get all your blue bins or yellow bags ready for action. A lot of the waste from Christmas is able to be recycled or composted. Have a plan for disposal.
10. De-clutter / Donate:
We all know that we will receive new clothes, appliances, electronics, etc. It is a great time to go through what you have and take out what you don’t use. There are plenty of places to donate clothing, housewares and electronics; some will even come pick it up for you. We all function better in a non-cluttered environment.