It’s that time of year, again! “Ho, ho the mistletoe” and let those chestnuts roast! Lights are up, snow’s falling down, the tree sits in the corner with handmade ornaments and tinsel. The scent of gingerbread and Christmas cookies lingers throughout the house.
What could possibly go wrong? Stress. It overtakes the holidays from celebrating multiple holiday gatherings to last minute gift shopping and wrapping. How about this year we try and combat stress before it happens? Stock up on these five stress-free tips that will let you have “a holly, jolly, Christmas.”
- Practice calming activities, such as meditation or light exercise
Unwind with a peaceful meditation or yoga class either first thing in the morning to start your day off right or after a long day at work! Or, take a walk with your family after dinner, build a snowman, ice skate—these are all amazing winter activities that remind us of childhood. It unleashes our playful side and helps us forget why we were stressed in the first place.
- Organize your work and living space to be clutter-free and peaceful environments
At the moment, this might be difficult with children off from school, tape and ribbon strewn throughout the house, and a crowded living room due to the tree and presents. Try keeping just one space in your house free from to-do lists, technology, and work. Visit this space whenever you begin to feel a shortness of breath or a quickening heartbeat. Take three deep breaths. Inhale for 5 seconds, pause for 5, exhale for 5, and pause for 5. That’s it! Just three breaths can calm you.
- Try timing out your day
Life’s full of surprises. Things happen all the time we can’t change, but instead of expecting for things to go wrong, plan as if they go perfectly. Write out your dream Holiday schedule using time blocks. The time guests are supposed to arrive, the time to start preparing your meal, the time Santa is showing up! Whatever it is, try sticking to that time sheet. If someone’s late, don’t delay everything else. That will just cause you more stress in the long run. Don’t forget that your time is just as important as your guests.’
- Prioritize your tasks and focus on one thing at a time
This relates to timing your day. What is the most important thing to do in preparation? And, go from there. Instead of trying to multitask, attempt at doing one thing at a time (writing it out will help you get your thoughts focused!)
- Delegate tasks whenever you feel overwhelmed
All hands on deck! Humans love control, but you’d be surprised by how much you can accomplish if you give the little tasks to other people. All of a sudden, you’re able to enjoy the time with your family and friends, sitting and relaxing with some hot chocolate in hand. Put on some holiday classics and make it fun!
Remember, there’s no such thing as a perfect holiday. It’s the imperfect holidays we tend to reflect on and laugh about. Letting yourself off the hook from perfection will make everything you do this holiday season all the more joyful! Good luck!
Jordan Nicholson graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she studied innovative coaching methods, over 100 dietary theories, and practical lifestyle management techniques, including the tips above.