Try These Stress Reducing Tips and Enjoy the Holiday Season

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Handling the holidays can be stressful, but these stress reducing tips can make your life easier and less hectic.  You know that even your best laid plans can go awry when unexpected guests arrive or that last minute gifts fail to show up on your doorstep from the UPS delivery man.  We have developed this list of suggestions to help you plan ahead, stay focused, and still leave time to enjoy the festivities. Try these tips to help you enjoy a calm and memorable holiday season.




Stress Reducing Tip # 1--
Plan Ahead

  • Get your calendar out and list the major activities that have to be accomplished this month.  With your calendar in hand, work backwards from the last step to the first step.  Give yourself plenty of time to accomplish the tasks.  Planning for the holidays is an additional activity that you complete along with all of your regularly scheduled responsibilities.
  • Try to get those cards written and mailed and the gifts to be sent, bought and mailed EARLY!  By the end of the first week in December is ideal if possible and will greatly reduce stress levels later in the month as things ramp up and get even crazier.
  • Don’t forget about stocking stuffers.  Pick up items early including gift cards, lottery tickets, and small toiletries so that you can cross that off your “to do” list.

Stress Reducing Tip #2--
Simplify Your Holiday Baking

  • It is great to have holiday cookies for all of the unexpected guests who drop by and to offer as house warming gifts when visiting, but pace yourself.  You may be able to reduce your stress levels by baking a batch of cookies, or one recipe of fruit cakes per day, especially if you are working and are trying to do the baking after work and after the dinner dishes have been cleaned and put away.
  • Keep it simple.  Don’t try to overachieve this year.  If your schedule is tight, buy cookies rather than baking all the varieties this year.

Stress Reducing Tip #3--
Create a Holiday Budget

  • Create a list of all the people who will be a part of your holiday gift giving and then decide how much you’d like to allocate for their presents.  Create your budget for gifts, wrapping paper, cards and ribbons.
  • Try to stock up on non-perishable food supplies when they are on sale or when you can buy in bulk.
  • Even if you are being frugal or finding great discounts, stick to your budget so that your credit cards don’t give you a pinch come January.

Stress Reducing Tip #4--
Spruce Up Your House

  • Make a list of all the rooms in your house.  Then list what you have to do to get that room ready for the holiday season.  The kitchen, the guest room, the bathroom and the family room all need special attention at this time of year.
  • Check your pantry and refill as needed so that you have plenty of last minute meal supplies for unexpected schedule changes or unexpected guests.
  • Stock up on holiday wines and refreshments.  Having a few extra bottles of wine available makes for great last minute house warming gifts, surprise guests, thank you gifts for service providers, or people you forgot to put on your list.
  • Check your bathrooms.  Clean them thoroughly and stock them with toiletries, linens, and paper products so they are ready when guests arrive.

Stress Reducing Tip#5--
The Reason for the Season

  • Give back.  Find an activity where you can help others less fortunate than you.  Donate food items or clothes to a shelter.
  • Take time to savor all the things you have to be thankful for.  Make a list and keep it close by so you can refer to it and keep the hectic season in perspective.
  • The holidays breeze by very quickly.  People will remember the times they shared with family and friends a lot more than how many different types of cookies you baked.  Sit down and enjoy the company.  You’ll miss them when they are gone.

Stress Management Strategies for the Holidays

The Greatest Gift of All

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