20 Easy Ways to Manage Christmas StressDecember 7 2018
Christmas a festive and joyous time of year, but it can also be incredibly stressful, especially if you have a long list of to-dos and a social calendar packed with parties and festive gatherings. If you’re overwhelmed just thinking about it, we’ve got words for you: You can do this! The key is to plan in advance to avoid last-minute stresses and don’t overcommit to too many social events and parties. Check out our Christmas survival guide to help make this season less stressful.
Be picky about your parties
Avoid stress by planning your social calendar for the next few weeks. RSVP to parties you can and want to attend-don’t feel pressured to go to a party just because you received an invite. Make time to see friends and family you don’t rarely see throughout the year and catch up with loved ones who live close by another time. This way, you won’t be stretched thin with your time and energy.
Traveling to see family? Don’t wait until the night before to start packing your luggage-we’ve all been there. Fill up your suitcase a couple days in advance of your trip to help you assess what you really need. Overstuffing your suitcases can cost you extra fees-not to mention, put a strain on your back and shoulders. Figure out how many days you’ll be away and think about what you’ll need.
Take a steamy shower
You can’t afford to be slowed down by a cold, so steam up in a hot shower. Keeping your nasal passages moist in the dry air prevents the rhinovirus from setting up shop in your nose. Steam is a natural decongestant, and a hot shower loosens mucus in the nasal passages.
Consider hanging a eucalyptus plant in your shower; the steam from the shower releases the essential oils of the plants that can help clear nasal congestion. And while you’re at it, belt out some holiday tunes. Singing encourages deep breathing, bringing the healing steam deep into your nasal passages.
Getting busy between the sheets can help boost your immune system, alleviate pain, and make you feel happier-all things you need to get you through the busy season. Unfortunately, all the hustle and bustle can turn your sex drive cold. Jump-start your sex drive with these expert-backed strategies.
Get enough sleep
Snoozing for at least seven and a half hours a night for three straight nights guarantees you’ll get through at least 5 full sleep cycles, garnering the full benefits of stage-4 sleep (the most nourishing and restful), and bolstering your immunity while you’re at it.
It’s easy to forget that this is the season of giving. Donating money to a good cause makes you feel better than buying a pair of designer jeans-and studies prove it, say psychologist Dr Elizabeth Dunn. You don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy this karmic boost. Researchers learned that those who give even $5 to someone else felt measurably better than those who bought themselves a treat instead.
Prep for family tension
Every Christmas gathering has a Grinch, but if there’s one thing you don’t have time for, it’s negative energy. Having a plan of attack means you can give those negative thoughts a one-two punch and move on. Pinning these positive affirmations to your mood board are a good place to start.
Game plan your festive shopping
Make a list, and check it twice. Look out for sales and discounts on items that you want to gift for your friends and family. If you’re not able to find what you want online and want to hit the shops, download a map of the stores from your local shopping centre’s web site and check whether the items you want are in stock. This way, you can get in and out of the shopping centre quickly without wasting any time.
Plan your menu at least two weeks in advance
If you’re hosting a Christmas party or two this year, plan your food menu a few weeks ahead of schedule to save you the headache of last-minute grocery shopping and recipe prep. Buy your ingredients, and clean and chop the vegetables a day or two in advance. Frozen desserts or pie crusts can also be made ahead and stored in the freezer to help cut back on kitchen time. Moreover, ask your guests to bring a dish, so the responsibility of preparing a holiday dinner doesn’t all fall on your plate.
Stick to the dishes you know
Christmas isn’t a time to experiment with a new recipe. Do what you know and what you can do well. From mashed potatoes to roasted Brussels sprouts to macaroni and cheese, these classic dishes are crowd pleasers, so there’s no reason to stray from them.
Create a relaxing environment in your home
Whether you’re throwing a party or not, you’ll need a little holiday cheer to greet you at the door. Here’s how to do it on the cheap from My Fair Wedding host David Tutera. He makes it sound easy-because it really is.
“Decorate simply and quickly by choosing one item (like ornaments in trifle bowls, different sized miniature trees, or bows) and using it in abundance,” Tutera says. For soft lighting, just add candles. “I love using tea lights along window sills or across a mantle. And finally, add easy ambiance with a soft, jazzy sounds or some holiday carols.”
Squeeze in some fitness
Your workout routine is often the first thing to get lost in the holiday shuffle, which means you’re burning fewer kilojoules and probably also eating more. Plus, stress can trigger the body to release excessive amounts of cortisol, which makes you reach for fattening comfort foods. The perfect antidote?
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you want clear some headspace. Practicing meditation can help boost your mood, fight stress, and even curb cravings.
Keep your closets organised
As they say in feng shui, your home is a reflection of what’s happening in your life. Avoid clutter as much as possible in your home by keeping your closets and cabinets organised. After reviewing your social calendar, plan your outfits accordingly and have them dry-cleaned or laundered in advance. Come crunch time, there won’t be any last minute panic over a stained blouse or a run in your stockings.
Eat a healthy diet
Stress can trigger mindless eating and cravings for unhealthy foods. Practice self-care by eating a nutritious diet and cooking wholesome foods with nourishing ingredients. If you’re attending a party, don’t show up ravenous. Eat a fibre- and protein-rich snack before you go to the party to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Avoid the drive thru
Eating on the go during the holidays is inevitable, but it doesn’t mean someone else has to do the cooking. Prepare for a week of crazy after-work commitments by cooking a big meal on Sunday and keeping portions for the week.
Revel in the good stuff
As you get closer to the day of your party, it can feel like more things are going wrong than right. Write down three things that went well for you today, no matter how minor. Be descriptive and note the role you played in making each happy moment happen. You’ll be increasingly mindful of how much control you have over the bright spots in your life.
Stock up on hostess gifts
It was so nice of your husband’s boss to invite you to dinner, but would a little notice have killed him? Keep the panic at bay by stocking up on a few hostess gifts to make sure you’ll never show up empty handed. Great ideas: Your favourite bottle of wine, a calming aromatherapy candle, a quality cheese board and a fancy bottle opener.
Set the table
Don’t let this happen to you: You’re cooking and baking up a storm and then the doorbell rings, and you realise your table is bare. Do yourself a favour and set the table the night before. That way, when family arrives fashionably early, they’ll have somewhere festive to sit while you finish preparing the meal.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Recruit your guests to help with some of the small tasks, like bringing out dishes as they become ready, handing out hors d’oeuvres and taking coats of other guests as they enter your home.
Sourced from Prevention.