5 Tips For Stress-Free Holidays
Holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and laughter. However, for some of us, the holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. There are a list of stressful things that add up: getting together with family, prepping all the holiday meals, dealing with shopping and making sure no one is missed along the way.
If there were solutions that would allow you to do all of these things and still enjoy the holidays, would you try them out? Of course because the holidays are amazing! And we all deserve to enjoy the holidays. That being said, check out our list of 5 tips for a stress-free holiday.
1) Prep in advance.
Yeah. Yeah. I know. Easier said than done, but preparing food and presents in advance can help do more than you realize. As a freelancer who works about 75 hours a week on a good month, the looming holidays stress me out because there’s always so much to do. For presents, I try to buy stuff months in advance and it’s not always planned out. Throughout the year I’ll occasionally run across things that I think family members and friends will like and purchase them, wrap them, and store them in the closet until the time is right. If I am making food for a holiday party or a family dinner, I will start accumulating ingredients about a week in advance. Why? I am a procrastinator and nothing is more stressful than waiting until the day before or the day of and scrambling to acquire ingredients last minute.
2) Buying is sometimes better than making from scratch.
Yes, food from scratch generally tends to be the way to go for holiday meals, but give yourself a break. Supermarkets and bakeries carry an assortment of baked goods, so you don’t have to worry about scrambling to get that oven on to bake biscuits or bake a pie. Store bought is fine. And, if you are stressing out about making gravy or anything like that while also trying to prepare a turkey or a ham, running out to the store and buying your own is probably the best thing you could do for yourself. It saves time and stress and it’ll taste good.
3) Don’t overload yourself with marathon cleaning.
Making sure the home is tidy for family and guests can be one of the single most things we stress about. Is all the dust gone? If I scrub hard enough, will that mark finally get out of the floor? I’m here to tell you something. You do not need to clean everything. I repeat, you do NOT need to clean everything. The areas that need your focus are the areas that will get the most foot traffic like the living room, the dining room, and the bathroom. No one is probably going to linger in your bedroom or anywhere else private, so leave that off of your list.
4) Don’t go overboard with decorations.
With the rise of Instagram and a driving urgence to go big or go home during the holidays, it can get stressful thinking about how to decorate each year. Take this year to just scale back. Think about what you’ve come to associate symbolically for the holidays and do scaled down versions of those. Instead of a giant tree, you could get something smaller like a tabletop tree or, if you want to get really simple, perhaps fill a bowl with decorative pinecones. The spirit of the holidays can still be felt with simple decorations and your stress will be significantly reduced.
5) Staying home is just as good as going out.
From Thanksgiving until the conclusion of the holiday season, we will feel compelled to try to take our family and friends out and about. With all of the different holiday events to hit up and the driving urge to make sure everyone has the best holidays ever, this can lead to greater levels of stress. We forget that sometimes going back to the basics can do more for us than we think. A night or two at home watching sappy holiday films with family and friends, telling stories to one another, and taking a moment to sit back and relax in the comfort of our home can be the thing we need to keep the nerves down.