Why is it that so many of us allow ourselves to be stressed and overwhelmed during the holidays? I mean, aren’t we supposed to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year! And it’s not like we don’t know the holidays are coming. I’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you reduce holiday stress and make them enjoyable.
Begin with reaching out to someone that will be alone for the holidays. It will be a blessing to both of you. Is there a friend or coworker that can’t get home for the holidays or an elderly neighbor that’s all alone? Invite them to be part of your celebration. Don’t worry about exposing them to your crazy family—that’s the best part!
Create a gift theme and budget to take the stress out of gift giving. Get your loved ones to agree to a theme before the season starts. Theme ideas could be: something homemade, something refurbished or repurposed, a life changing book, an entertainment package—DVDs of your three favorite movies, games and puzzles, a relaxation basket, a religious themed basket, or an ethnic themed basket. The options are endless and can really make gift giving fun.
Give your time or money or both. You will enrich your life and the lives of those that are less fortunate by giving. Your house of worship or Social Services can connect you with people in your community who are in need. And invite friends and coworkers to give as well.
Keep it simple. If decorating is not your thing, invite some friends over and have a decorating party. If cooking for guests stresses you out, divvy up your menu and invite guests to bring something. Catering is another easy option, or simply forget the elaborate menu and have a cocktail or dessert gathering.
Don’t overcommit. Be realistic about your schedule, especially if you have a more demanding work schedule. The bottom line is we have more to do during the holiday season, so it’s important that we manage our schedules.
Take time to pamper yourself. A little pampering will keep you feeling energized and joyful throughout the holidays. What relaxes you, yoga, a hot bath, aromatherapy, reading, meditation, a massage, cooking, a cup of tea? Schedule time to nurture yourself and give thanks for all that’s good in your life.
Enjoy the holidays, but don’t blow your wellness goals. There’s nothing more frustrating than starting the new year with an extra five pounds and a sugar addiction. You can thrive with just a little planning.
- Make your workouts a priority. Now is not the time to slack off.
- Double your intake of fruits and vegetables to keep your waistline slim and your immune system strong.
- Pick your survival snack (hummus and veggies) and dessert (figs stuffed with goat cheese) that will keep you on track.
- Get down to your fighting weight before the holidays, so you can enjoy a few extra calories during the holidays.
- Slap on a pair of Spanx. The compression on your stomach will make you feel full quicker.
- Never go to party hungry. You’ll be less likely to overindulge if you have a nutritious snack beforehand.
- Drink two glasses of water for every alcoholic beverage you drink.
- Watch those portions. Use a dessert plate instead of a dinner plate and wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds.
- Choose your guilty pleasure and enjoy just one serving. Will it be appetizers or dessert?
- Send guests home with tempting leftovers.
Wishing you a joyful holiday season!
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ― Maya Angelou