5 Tips to Make Your Holiday Season Less Stressful
1. Take a few minutes for you, every morning!If you are busy, taking time for yourself is easier said then done. Trust me, this tip is worth it. You don't have to do much to feel better. Getting up 5-10 minutes before everyone else can make a world of difference for your mental health. While making that nice cup of coffee or hot tea, stretch it out. Stretching can make you feel more energized in just a few seconds. If you have more time, I love to pop in a yoga DVD, stretch, and take the last few minutes of quite time to say my prayers before starting my day. Trust me, it makes a world of difference.
2. Start Holiday Meal Prep Early!I have the reputation for being the baker in both my families. I also cook and I love to do it. I figured out a long time ago that by cooking, I was showing love. I get most of my traits from my sweet mom and this is no exception. I love to make things from scratch and nothing tastes better. I have found a few short cuts by using some store bought items but I really try to stick to my family's good ole recipes. To get a jump on things I make pie crusts and cookie dough early. It is very easy to freeze and thaws quickly. I also know that if times are going to be crazy, I meal prep a few meals and toss them in the freezer. I make an effort to buy my staple items all during the year so it does not add to my already mounting grocery bill during the holiday season. Flour, sugar, and spices are on the top of my list. It takes a long time for them to go bad, if you stock up now, you could save big at the checkout later.
3. Budget Early!Once again, easier said than done. With family meals, gift buying, company parties, and regular everyday life; this time of year can get expensive. Saving ten to twenty dollars a week out of your paycheck starting January first can really add up and keep you away from the stress train come Black Friday. Pinterest is full of ideas on how to get a jump on saving. It's never to late to start.
4. Take Family Time!I am a family girl, five minutes with me and I've already bragged about my kids and shown you their picture. Those two are so busy and we don't get to spend as much time with them as we would like, but we try and make the most of our time between their busy schedule by not planning a thing. My favorite memories are the four of us curled up under blankets on the sofa just talking about life or watching cheesy movies. When they were younger we would grab them between activities for a quick family dinner. It slowed the pace down for just a little bit and brought us back to reality. Try and take one day out of the week for a planned family dinner or just to sit down and check on how everyone is doing. It will help you slow down and remember why we celebrate during this time of year.
5. Be Thankful!This is the most important tip I can give for making this time of year less stressful. Our lives move at such a rapid pace that we sometimes forget to stop, enjoy it, and be thankful we have this life.
If you are elbow deep in laundry, a baby crying, the phone ringing, and dishes over-flowing; be thankful. The laundry is there because your family has clothes, a crying baby and a phone ringing is because people love and need you, and the dishes because your family is well fed. Sometimes stopping in the midst of complete and total chaos to realize all of this is amazing and temporary is a beautiful thing.
Remember, this time of year is great. Allow yourself to slow down and relax. By taking the time now and putting into practice these tips, you will have a great holiday season.