The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year - but they can be the most stressful, too. With lots of presents to buy, parties to attend, and dinners to host, December is undeniably one of the busiest months in our calendar. Still, it’s important to enjoy this time of year and not let the extra responsibilities leave you feeling more swamped than cheerful. Click “Next” to see 7 easy ways to feel less busy this holiday season.
1. Do one thing at a time
Make a list and check it twice. Then prioritize and tackle one thing at a time. Trying to do too much all at once only adds to the feeling of being overwhelmed. Instead, be realistic about what you can accomplish each day, and as you complete a task, enjoy the feeling of crossing it off your list. This ensures that you’re taking on the most important things first - and gives you the pleasure of seeing just how much you’ve finished at the end of every day.
2. Ask for help
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you can’t do everything. You’re only human - and that means that there’s only so much you can do in a day. Rather than trying to get everything done yourself, ask your family to pitch in with various holiday tasks. The kids will probably love the chance to be more involved in the decorating and baking. Don’t forget to get your husband involved, too.
3. Learn to say no
With a super-packed holiday schedule, it’s likely that you’ll end up being asked something that you simply won’t be able to do. While saying no can be tough, being realistic about what you can accomplish will lead to less stress during the holiday season.
4. Keep it simple
Ditch the complicated dinner menu in favor of something simpler. Ask party guests to each bring a dish, or simply abandon the main course all together and serve a selection of appetizers and sweets. Plus there are plenty of store bought hors d'oeuvres that can be mixed in with homemade dishes. Serve on festive platters, and you’re ready for guests.
5. Do it early
Whether you’re hosting a family Christmas dinner, or are planning a holiday party for a few friends, do as much as you can ahead of time. That includes setting the table, and pre-making as much food as you can (and chopping up ingredients for recipes that are better made fresh). This way when the day comes, you’ll just need to put the food and drinks out, and be ready to actually mingle with your guests.
6. Schedule time for yourself
With so much going on, it’s easy to overlook your much-needed alone time. Don’t keep putting off booking that massage, or taking that long soak in the tub. You deserve it. And waiting will only add to the holiday stress that you feel. Finding some time to yourself after a busy day is necessary to help you re-charge. Those little breaks are needed to help you look and feel your best throughout the holiday season.
7. Make time to meditate
Deep breathing and meditation is an instant stress buster - and you can do it anywhere. People who meditate regularly report feeling less stressed and more in control than people who don’t. Starting and finishing your day with a little meditation - even just a few minutes - will help you to feel less stressed this holiday season (and the rest of the year, too)!