Simple Steps to Ditch the Holiday Stress
The holiday season is so jam-packed with things to do that it is easy to allow the season of blessings to become the season of stress and anxiety. According to a Healthline survey, a whopping 62% of people say their stress levels increase during the holiday season. Let’s face it: everyone wants us to participate in some seasonal gathering, our wallets are stretched to the limits, and company staying over is enough to test anyone’s limit. But does it have to be that way? No! Here are some great ways to beat the stress before the stress beats you.
Plan a Momentary Escape
Escape for a few minutes of relaxation. Make a DIY anti-stress mask and relax in a hot Epsom salt and lavender essential oil bath. Sometimes all you really need to destress is to close the door to all the chaos and just breath for a few minutes. Soothing your skin and body will relax your mind and soul as well.
Plan Warm and Fuzzy Moments
Plan a night to turn off the cell phone and the porch light. Put on your favorite PJs and cozy socks. Grab a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate and your favorite blanket. Curl up on the sofa with a seasonal classic movie and just laugh, cry, and relax – depending on the movie!
Keep Generic Last-Minute Gifts on Hand
My mom always said to plan for the unexpected. Chances are high that you will need a last-minute gift for unannounced guests or unexpected gift exchanges. Pick up several locally made jams and jellies from your favorite farmers market. Grab a seasonal ribbon and boom – you have a last-minute gift. You can also grab some beautifully wrapped homemade soaps and bath bombs, for a grab and go gift. Some of my personal favorite gifts: Birdie’s Pimento Cheese from my hometown and my homemade Apple Butter.
Make a to do list. I tend to use Post It notes and during the holiday season you will find them everywhere – in my car, on the bathroom mirror, and in my planner. Write it down when you think of it. Keeping your calendar and your goals in sight will help reduce your stress level because you know the what, when, where, and what I still need to get of it all.
Take Time to Reflect
Pause in front of the tree and remember why the season is one of love and peace – even though it doesn’t always feel like it. Remind yourself that the holidays are about being close to your loved ones. It’s not about the gifts, it’s about the moments.
Embrace the Chaos
Reality: It’s the holiday season and guess what – it is a very short season! There is no way to completely avoid stress during the holidays, but recognizing that it only lasts for a couple of weeks a year will help make it more manageable. Accept that you will be a little more tired than normal or your house might be a little messier than you like it. And that is OK! Enjoy the time you have with your loved ones and absorb the amazing memories you are making. Worry about the rest later! No one will remember that dust bunny in the corner or even the gift that you got them. They will remember the laughter and the embraces.