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5 ways you can chill more and stress less during the holidays

Categories: Balancing Act, Your life

1 comment

The holidays are stressful.

However you slice it, there is too much to do in a short period of time (unless you’re a super-planner and got it all done in October), you’re running from one family gathering to another work function, and not seeing much of that me-time for a few weeks in a row. But this year I am determined to stop looking at the holidays as a series of to-dos and actually chillax and enjoy some of them. It won’t work 100% (I know already because I am stressing over this pile of cards I need to send out) but I think I can tame the holiday anxiety monster a bit.

Here are 5 things I’m going to try to do:

  • Walk or do yoga every day. I’m going to be really stubborn about this. These are two things I do that calm my nerves and energize me to deal with whatever stress ball is aiming at me that day. So even though routine flies out the window in a few days, I’m going to figure out how to do some yoga or take a walk every day between now and New Years. Determination!
  • Accept the fact that late is better than never. There is no way these holidays cards are going out on time. They are New Year’s cards, something we do every year because (1) New Year is great to celebrate and (2) this gives me extra time to send them out. But I am going to accept the fact that some won’t get to our friends or family until well after the New Year and that’s OK. Look at it this way: They will stand out from the plethora of other cards they’ve gotten… on time.

  • Skip at least one social commitment. I love meeting up with friends and family, I really do. But during the holidays there are just too many things going on and I find myself dreading dinners and parties instead of looking forward to them. So I’m giving myself and our family permission to politely say no to at least one (if not more) social engagements.
  • Wrap less presents. I think presentation — of food, presents, anything — is really important and I love getting and giving beautifully wrapped gifts. But there are just too many gifts to give and wrap during this gift-giving season and I’m going to do something I’ve never done and not wrap some of them. On some I’m putting a cute bow, others I’m tying with a ribbon and a bunch get nothing at all, like my kiddo’s Hanukkah gifts. It saves paper, it saves time, and I think my friends and family will be just fine.
  • Do fun stuff that I enjoy. We fixed our fireplace last year but never used it because we were always running around. So this year I am determined that we will have roasted marshmallows and hang out in front of our fireplace because it’s something I’ve never done in my own house and I’m dying to. One of my favorite things from last year is a vision board we made with my kiddo, so I’m making time to do it again this year, around New Years. And planning a few “just us and no special plans” afternoons and evenings with my home crew, during which we can do absolutely nothing or play board games, which seems to be my daughter’s favorite pastime at the moment.

Got any tips to share to reduce holiday stress and actually enjoy this awesome time?

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One comment so far...

  • Just found out that I’ll be having houseguests from December 24-26, so this year I’ll be unable to wrap gifts on Christmas Eve. So the “wrap fewer gifts” is definitely for me. Besides limiting most people on my list to only one gift, I had my sister (who nannies for me on Sundays) wrap all the cousin gifts. Also, for a couple of families, I bought a very pretty decorative box (not just a gift box, but one you would use and display outside of the holidays). I plan to put the gifts for those families in those boxes. I will probably wrap a couple of the gifts, but not all of them, and the boxes will just get ribbons, I think. For some of the miscellaneous people, I will probably switch to gift bags and wrap only to the extent I have time. I also rescued some of the gift boxes from a corporate gift that our company received. They will be good for some small gifts that I don’t have time to wrap.

    The other adjustment I’ve made is just staying closer to home during December. We’ve done a few holiday-related things, but skipped some of the outings we usually do on weekday evenings. That way I can get a few household chores done, finish last-minute shopping, and clear some year-end to-dos that I don’t need hanging over my head at the holiday.

    SKL  |  December 21st, 2011 at 12:50 am

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