Holiday Stress Solutions
If you've ever been stressed during the holiday season, you know: it ruins the experience for you.
Family is flying, driving and taking trains from all over to come to your home, eat all your food and sleep on your couches!
They'll expect three meals a day (cooked by somebody, meaning: you), they'll need extra blankets, take up all the hot water - and generally steal your house and peace of mind for the duration.
How will you fight back to maintain sanity for the coming weeks until the new year brings a quiet home once more?
Here's some common Holiday Season Stresses with ways to re-think the situations and smooth the outcome!
Holiday Challenge number one: Family staying with you.
It's pretty common to have relatives and family friends come to visit during the Winter months, and it makes sense.
But what does not make sense, is allowing a complete take-over of your home and mental balance until they see fit to leave (usually once all your pre-chopped firewood has been used up for smores)...
Letting a few guests come crashing in from the snow does not have to demolish your calm anyway. Use this approach to keep the balance:
How to combat the increased number of guests without losing your mind:
1) Prepare the house a month in advance - this means you have to organize where everyone will sleep and all the bedding needed to keep them all warm. Making sure there are enough dishes and utensils for all. Enough shampoo and conditioner in the bathrooms for extra guests? Stock up on essentials like toilet paper, hand soap and other toiletries, just in case.
2) Prep the Kitchen for the invasion of the pantry - Plenty of Hot Coco, Apple Cider, cookies and muffins, canned soups for a quick hot meal, plenty of extra bottled water for hydration and cleaning supplies for baking days!
3) Prepare ways to keep them busy - Entertaining a large group can be challenging on the fly, especially since you will likely be running around cleaning up their latest mess as they move on to the next fun game! Having games, holiday activities, books and puzzles already available will be welcomed occupation after the cold weather no longer holds any charm.
4) Have all the details on hand - be sure that you have flight numbers, times of arrival and other travel information handy in case something changes or you have to pick someone up on the fly. Put the details in your bag or write them out in your day-timer to be able to carry them with you as the dates approach.
Holiday Challenge number two: Parties and get-together's
These parties can be detailed, lengthy, and steeped heavily in tradition. Some family's host gatherings with a few hundred people in their home, lasting until the early hours of the morning. Others have packed activity schedules and orderly - though rather long - observances of rites and rituals.
Whatever the type of gathering you are presenting, you may be sure it will not turn out quite like you expected.
But then again - nothing magical over does, and that is the heart of this season! So how do you make sure that the stress of the parties, details and endless deadlines don't ruin the evening for you?
How to face the gatherings with poise and excitement:
1) First, make sure you begin your planning well in advance - Depending on the scope of activities being put on at your gathering, make sure each portion of the event is planned out and given enough time to be accomplished!
2) Create a detailed planner or binder - this is where you can keep all your notes and preparations together! Vendor contact info, payment due dates, number of RSVP's and dietary restrictions of guests can all be efficiently recorded and updated in this one easily managed place!
3) Enlist help - we all have those friends and family who just coast along never lifting a finger, who then spends the entire evening enjoying all your hard work with the other guests, when they should have been helping you all along. Put. Them. To. Work. Make them in charge of invites, RSVP's, appetizers: whatever you need help with! It'll make your joyous occasion all the sweeter if you can have an extra hand in doing it.
Holiday Challenge number three - The Holiday Blues...
There are Sooo many other things around the Holiday's that can bring you down, or make the fun excitement turn into glum misery.
Maybe you've lost someone close to you during the winter months.
You might suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Perhaps other people or work is ruining your light-hearted fun.
Whatever the reason, if it's hard for you to stoke that little flame of snow-covered joy to life as others pile on the rushing, hurrying and stressing - take these detours to stick with the peaceful hum of carols all season long:
1) Keep your own perspective during the festivities! - Make a list of the things you love about this time of year and forget everything else! If you want to cuddle with your cat by the fireplace with coco, then don't let anyone stop you from having that pleasure. If you loving shopping deals, then go for it with enthusiasm and ignore the haters! Make time and space for your loves this season and protect them: these little moments of happiness will make the rest of the moments extra sweet!
2) Enjoy the little things. - If you have little kids or are around any, watch how they enjoy the holidays. Seeing the sparkle of imagination and excitement in a child's eyes can make you recall the romance and adventure of this time of year!
3) Stay above the Drama!!! - There's a few rough edges that come with every Holiday rush: lines, crowds, traffic, deadline panic & too much spiked eggnog. Whatever you do, don't listen to family members who are waxing poetic about nonsense because they're drunk. Don't take anything to heart from the people around you at the local shopping centers: they're just suffering from Holiday-related Rage. Try to find the calmest path through the insanity and let all others fight it out in the parking lot!
This is a season. So, take it with a grain of salt: every changing season brings transitions that are both welcome and difficult.
Try to keep up your optimism with music that makes you happy, outfits that bring out your inner-beauty... and people who support and love you!
And if anyone else is making life difficult on you during this precious season, ax them from the holiday card list, send them coal, and tell them they're uninvited to the Annual Christmas Eve Party.