Top 5 Tips to Stay Sane During the Holidays
If instead of saying, “ho, ho, ho” as the holidays approach, your mantra is “no, no ,no,” then we have some tips for bringing the joy (and some sanity) back into your November and December.
As kids, Christmas couldn’t come fast enough…the countdown from December 1st to the 25th felt longer than the rest of the year! As adults, the days seem to fly by, and before we know it, December 25th has arrived….and we’re still wrapping (buying!) presents, baking up a storm, making a fabulous feast (for 20+), trying to find the perfect Christmas outfit, and ignoring the box of Christmas cards to be signed and addressed on the desk.
This year is going to be different! Stop, take a deep breath, and read on for a few of our favorite tricks to help you stay sane during the holidays…and creating a more PEACE-ful holiday season.
P: It all starts with planning
Come around mid-November, we pull out the calendar (virtual or old-school paper) and create our to-do list. And we don’t hold back! We get it all out on paper and then make some strategic cuts. The tasks that are left go onto the calendar, in easy-to-complete time frames. Spending an hour or so a day from mid-November on, ensures you get your tasks done…without breaking a sweat. And, because it’s all mapped out, you won’t stress out at night trying to remember what you need to do…and miss out on your beauty sleep. You’ll be surprised how much being well rested will help you stay sane during the holidays.
E: Easy eats
The holidays are all about food, and very special food at that. Christmas is the holiday with the most food memories and you don’t want to skimp when it comes to keeping those delicious traditions alive. Here are a few shortcuts we’ve found to fill all the cookie jars and candy dishes…without pulling out your hair.
1) Most (if not all) cookies freeze beautifully. Schedule your cookie baking time early in the season (see tip #1) and pop those cookies in the freezer until you need them.
2) If you’re hosting Christmas dinner…delegate! Determine what you’re comfortable making (time wise and space wise) and assign the rest to guests to bring. Everyone always wants to bring something to Christmas dinner…even Uncle Joe, and even if he always brings a jar of pickles and a hunk of cheddar.
3) When you’re creating a menu, take a look at what items are best made from scratch and which items are perfectly wonderful store bought.
4) Speaking of Christmas dinner, if you’re hosting this year, we recommend setting your table a week early, as well as, finding and washing serving bowls and utensils the week before too. When the big day arrives, you won’t have to hunt around for the perfect serving vessel!
5) Watch the grocery store sales in October and November. Grocery stores start having sales on holiday essentials early in the season. It’s the best time to stock up on butter, flour, pumpkin pie filling, cheese, chips and crackers, soda and sparkling water, and whole turkeys, hams, and roasts.
6) Before the hoopla begins, clean out your fridge (see tip#1) and organize your pantry.
A: Always take care of you
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you and your well-being have to go to the back burner. In your calendar (see tip #1), schedule time for yourself. Things like:
1) Taking a yoga class
2) Setting a deep breathing reminder
3) Setting a get up and move reminder
4) Planning healthy meals
5) Drinking lots of water
6) Don’t (try not to) overindulge
7) Taking your vitamins and supplements
8) Starting and ending each day with a moment of gratitude
9) Instead of a regular happy hour, set a spa happy hour and get relaxing massages or pedicures
10) Taking lots of bubble baths!
C: Celebrate (and comic relief)!
Yes, it is the season of celebration. But that doesn’t mean going overboard and over-committing to every invitation. Help yourself stay sane for the holidays by being selective. Plan (see tip #1) parties, outings, events, visiting Santa, etc. and don’t feel guilty about the events that don’t make the list. Comic relief? Yes, remember to laugh and enjoy yourself. Laughing is also a great stress reliever and reminds us not to take everything so seriously.
E: Early bird gets the gifts
Don’t wait for Black Friday to kickoff holiday shopping! Start as soon as you can (November 1st is a good date for us) and by the time Black Friday rolls around, you could have everything wrapped and ready to go under the tree.