There’s a reason they call it the holiday hustle and bustle. The holiday season is absolutely packed with things to do, from decorating the house to shopping and wrapping gifts to hosting the family to baking cookies for your kids’ school fundraiser, and everything in between. It’s a lot of fun, for sure, but it can also be extremely stressful and draining.
No matter which holiday tasks you’re juggling, find peace amidst the chaos and reduce that tension and anxiety so you can savor the wonders of the season instead of stressing about them. Discover a few of our favorite ways to reduce holiday stress and make time for self-care during these chaotic weeks.
Make a plan
If you typically stick to a few concrete traditions each season, make a plan before said celebrations begin. You know (mostly) what to expect, so how can you make your life easier in the weeks leading up to the event? Can you get a head start on shopping or freeze some baked goods for later? What can you stock up on now that will take a task off your plate later?
Give everyone in the family a job
Don’t feel like you need to do it all yourself! Delegating tasks helps encourage others to get involved and takes a lot of stress off you. If your kids are old enough, enlist them to do some household cleaning before Grandma comes to stay. Give your spouse a gift shopping list or a grocery list for Thanksgiving dinner and send them out for the day. Can your sister-in-law handle the desserts this year, or can you put your brother in charge of the kids? People want to help, so let them; if someone asks how they can help, give them something to do or something to bring.
Get some exercise
Nothing helps melt away stress like a heart-pounding cardio session or long, slow flow yoga. Make time for your workouts to take your mind off the to-do list and focus on you. You’ll probably come back to your tasks with a lighter, brighter outlook and clearer mind.
Stick to your routines
This doesn’t mean you should completely ignore all holiday celebrations, but if you can stick to your healthy routines for most of the season, you’ll feel better when the party is over. Maybe that’s waking up early for a quiet cup of coffee and a book, or a daily green smoothie, or your favorite supplements. Whatever your essential wellness practices may be, try to keep them up even when you’re away from home or hosting your brother and his five rowdy kids.
Know your limits
It’s OK to say you’re too busy to attend that last-minute party or make another plate of treats for the bake sale, or that your guest room is already booked for the season. “No” is a perfectly acceptable word to use, especially during high-stress situations like the holidays. If one more event or task would cause your already full plate to topple over, consider it an optional instead of a must-do.
Remember what the season is really about
It’s so easy to get caught up in parties and presents, but when you’re feeling the holiday heat, take a second to remember what the season is really about: sharing special moments with the people you love most and doing something kind and thoughtful for others. Need a break? Consider volunteering your time to help refresh your perspective.