It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Let’s be honest: we all look forward to the holiday season. Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to appreciate all things Christmas. It’s my favorite time of the year, so I enjoy decoration, the smell of fresh Christmas tree, gift wrapping, making gingerbread etc. But there is always a part of me that remembers about the other side of the month of December. As it turns out, the holiday season is one of the most stressful times for us.
Just recently I read an article that talked about “Festive Stress” and the research that revealed that 31 percent of Americans described holiday season as “frantic”. It turns out that the most stressful parts of holidays are gift shopping, crowds, and traffic, cleaning and cooking.
I want to make this holiday season merrier for all of us and reduce “Festive stress”. Here are some tips on how to do so:
Christmas shopping and time gaps.
No matter how many gifts you have to buy, it’s time-consuming and can be overwhelming. The most stressful thing for me is to decide what to get, where and when. So, here is what I do: I pick a weekend for holiday shopping. That includes making a list of people I have to get the gifts for, reading the holiday gift guides, store visits, and online shopping. That way I get the things done and avoid crowds.
Cooking and cleaning.
Flash news – I don’t cook on Christmas, we always go out. I cook on Thanksgiving instead. This is my way of keeping the balance: I make a homemade meal, but I also don’t feel overwhelmed by all the time spent in the kitchen. Try to do the same thing.
Here is the thing about cleaning: don’t do it on the weekend. Enjoy the holiday season with family, and do all the cleaning on the weekday – one thing at a time. Ask your family to help if you feel like you run out of time.
Treat yourself to a holiday pajama and good slippers.
Maybe it’s just me, but holiday pajamas make me feel merry and relaxed even if I had the most stressful day. I just jump into comfy pajamas and slippers (mine are with memory foam) at the end of the day, take a cup of mint tea and relax.
Stay focused on everything including your health.
New research from Cornell University says that holiday weight gain is real, and “the extra pounds you put on between Halloween and Christmas can take more than five months to lose”.
I love holiday treats, but I find healthier alternatives and make them at home. Stay active, drink enough water and don’t feel guilty if you eat something sugary once in a while.
If you would like to learn more about how to stay fit during holiday season, read this article.
Limit the time you spend on your phone.
Texting, social media, checking on your phone every now and then steals the time that you could spend on doing something that would bring you peace. We live in times when even theaters ask us to turn off the phones. So, let’s do it!
Feeling stressed? Take a break.
There is nothing like a good walk, meditation, and time with yourself to help us to release all the tension. But there is a secret ingredient for that. It’s called “put your phone down”.
Have some “me” time.
I often say that a happy person can only spread love and joy. And the other way around. Put yourself first on the list of people you have to take care of this holiday season, and you will see how easy it is to cheer the rest of the people in your life.
In a perfect world, people would stop measuring the value of gifts by price tags. That being said, this holiday season, spend something more meaningful than money – spend your time wiring the cards, or getting something that would make a person you get the gift for, smile and feel special.