We are in the midst of the holiday season which started with Halloween and won't end until the kids go back to school in early January.
|Let's all strive to be this relaxed at Christmas.|
We all know how stressful this time of year can be, even my kitties seem a bit edgy this morning and are involved in a heated cat fight involving claws and hissing. So what can we do to keep the stress to a minimum and enjoy what's left of the holidays instead of allowing them to give us agita. Here is my Top Ten List of ways to keep stress at bay during this busy time.
1 - Start your shopping early and plan on being finished by December 15th, not the 24th!
2 - Make lists! Lots of them. Who to buy gifts for, who to bake cookies for, and who to mail cards to. Better yet, forget sending Christmas cards at all if they are going to be a burden on you or simply choose your closest family and friends. Each year I receive photo cards of people I can barely remember.
3 - Make a budget and stick to it. Nothing is more stressful than spending more money than you anticipated, if not immediately, then in January when the bills start coming in!
4 - Don't create more work than necessary if you're hosting. If you are expecting ten guests, make enough food for 15, not 50! And, if you're just not Martha Stewart, don't try to be - do holiday gatherings YOUR way.
5 - Shop online as much as possible to avoid the crowds, lines, and low inventory found in stores. I also "shop around" online before going to storefronts to buy gifts. This helps me find the best deals AND avoids me running around all over town. While you're at it, save time by taking advantage of online options to buy online but pick-up in store.
6 - Keep it simple and don't do anything you don't want to do. In other words, it may be awesome that your neighbor sets up a million-light display on his front lawn, that doesn't mean YOU have to as well!
7 - Don't wait until the last minute. Gift wrap as you buy gifts, not all at once. You'll feel more accomplished this way and will probably save your back from severe muscle tension.
8 - Keep exercising and eating healthy during the holidays as much as possible. This is no time to go completely off the wagon. You'll feel more stressed out and guilty if you do, especially if you're sacrificing this time just to do things that might not mean as much to you. You'll thank yourself come January.
9 - Plan everything and, again, make lists of which stores and errands you have to do on any given day. At my age anything more than two items is too much for me to remember unless I write them down!
10 - Give of yourself this holiday season whether through donations or time. Help make the holidays a little bit brighter for those less fortunate than you. In addition to helping others, you'll feel more grateful for all that you have.
Hopefully these tips will help you save some time and help eliminate some stress. Always remember the true UNIVERSAL meaning of the holidays - spreading peace and joy and, of course, spending time with loved ones.