Keeping Stress Down and Spirits Bright During the Holidays:
‘Tis the season to be merry and bright—that’s what the greeting cards say. But while holiday cards will scarcely mention it, stress and frustration are felt in households all across America during this time of year. Presents need to be bought and wrapped, and family meals need to be prepped and served. If any of this sounds familiar, perhaps you need to rethink your strategy heading into the holidays. Here are some steps you can take to beat the stress and keep a happy home and family.
Make a Plan
Nothing can be more stressful than not having a plan. You wake up in the morning with a list of things to do that rivals Santa’s own, and you already feel overwhelmed before it’s 9:00 a.m. You then move about your day trying to tackle one thing at a time, but in no particular order. This is not only stress-inducing, but also highly inefficient. Scheduling your day from sunrise to sunset will help you get a grip on what needs to be done. Fill out a calendar, or keep a personal scheduler, and start jotting down what needs to be done and when to do it. Keeping a schedule also helps sets expectations for your children to follow and can ease some of the burdens of parenting.
Starting Your Day Off Right
Remember the old adage, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Well what you put in your body in the morning can and will affect how the rest of your day goes. If you skip a meal, you will be depleted of energy and patience before noon. If you spend your mornings lounging around aimlessly until lunch, you’ll only push off more things to do in your afternoons and evenings.
Set goals for what you want to achieve soon after waking up and develop a routine around them. Some of these tasks can be as small as making your bed, wrapping presents, or preparing breakfast for your family. Completing these small tasks before the rest of the family is awake will open up your day for the larger tasks at hand. Think of your morning time as a practice run for the rest of your day.
Get Into a Solid Routine
Just like with exercise, it takes a little while before you start seeing the results. Going all out on the treadmill for one day only won’t help you reach your weight-loss goal; it takes time, and most importantly, consistency. Get into your daily routine now, before the holidays really start to set in. You might just find that your routine becomes a lifesaver during a turbulent holiday season. After practicing your routine for awhile, it becomes ingrained into your muscle memory. This means that it takes less concentration while completing your tasks, freeing your mind from not only the task at hand, but also any holiday stress that’s been building up.
Don’t Neglect Your “You” Time
The trick to making your daily routine as stress reducing as possible is to include one or two activities that you genuinely look forward to. This could be something you do before the kids wake up, where you allow yourself to read a book, watch a TV show, or spend time exercising. Taking time for yourself in your routine will give you something to look forward to and relieve any stress you may have about what still needs to be done. Caring for yourself will also put you in a better mood that will carry over to the rest of your family, keeping holiday spirits merry and bright.
If you’re tired of holidays plunging your family’s home into chaos year after year, then consider these steps to beat the stress. Make sure you have a plan, get into a daily routine, and don’t forget about self-care.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
How do you manage your stress during the holidays?
The above post is a guest post written for us by Daniel Sherwin.