8 Best Ways I Know to Chill Out – And Reduce Holiday Stress
8 Best Ways to Chill Out – And Reduce Holiday Stress
I decided this year to find all the ways possible for me to Chill…Reduce Holiday Stress… just have the holidays be FUN! I have spent most of my adult life with a huge focus on things being perfect: decorations, parties, gifts, wrappings, and the Christmas dinner. I have looked back at things that have worked in the past in an attempt to have my holidays be more enjoyable and less stressful. However, I have never put them all in the same year…and this year I am. I share with you some choices you could make in hopes that your holiday is perfectly….UNSTRESSED.
1. Decide what’s most important!
Don’t get tangled up with thinking everything must be done from scratch.
I love to make homemade cookies for the holidays. The best years ever have been to make them with the help of my children and grandchildren. One big help is to use the already prepared cookie dough… then let the kids have all the fun with decorating them. After all, what does it matter if one year you don’t make them from scratch? Play now and teach them from scratch when it’s less hectic. After all, what is most important is playing and being together.
2. Get simple!
Simple can be beautiful, too. Make a little less fuss and find ways to simplify some of what needs to be done. One thing I am doing this year is to ask family members to bring their favorite dish for Christmas dinner. I have always done most, if not all, of the shopping and cooking of the Christmas dinner. We are going to share in the joy of the meal and its preparation this year. Everyone home this year will bring their favorite dish already prepared… less mess to clean up after, and less stress.
3. Letting go and go with the flow!
I am so ‘traditional’ when it comes to Christmas. It’s been really difficult for me to go along with the “gift cards” trends. I have deemed that as “thoughtless” on my part to give them. Well, one of the most awesome gifts I ever gave was giving CASH and A Shopping Day with Gram, (that’s me) to two of my granddaughters. We had a blast…it was an opportunity for them to get more for their money because of sales after Christmas. We made an entire day of it, and most of all we had such a wonderful time together… playing, having lunch, and taking pictures as we shopped. It was not only a great gift, it also made new memories that will last forever. Maybe this is a new tradition for us.
4. Carve out time for YOU!
Give yourself the gift of doing something special for you. Pick one night during the holiday and fill your tub with your favorite fragrance, salts, or oils. Turn out the lights, all but one candle light near the tub, lay back and spend some time in gratitude. It’s been a big year regardless of the ups or downs, it’s time to be still and connect spiritually. This is the best time for you… and oh, you guys… well, try this treat for yourself. You’ll be amazed.
5. Let it be!
Spend more time just letting people be who they are and not try to change them. Let go of wishing they were different. Because they aren’t different… they be who they be, and it’s time you let them be that way. Notice you haven’t changed them thus far… so how about just enjoying your holiday?
6. Be flexible!
It can be challenging trying to hold up all the traditions, everyone’s ideas of how it should be, giving up time with those who must spread themselves around with others. I know for Doug and me, it was so tough the first few years when our grown children had more places to be than they had days. That’s when we had to start sharing them during the holidays. At first it was tough but what Doug and I discovered was that we could have very special time together on those times that were otherwise devoid of our children and grandchildren. In fact, we love these times alone. And the next time the kids are home with us… it’s even more special.
7. Ask for help – it isn’t a weakness!
If you are at all like me, you have probably spent most of your holidays trying to do it all and do it all by yourself. This year ask for help and find a simple way to make it easier with whatever you plan to do. Decorating, cooking, shopping, and cleaning – let others give in this way. This year I am asking daughters and granddaughters to come help me decorate my tree.
8. Get real!
This year I had to make some tough decisions. For many reasons I just had to get real with myself and choose to let go of some things I really wanted to do. One was choosing to not have a traditional holiday party. Though it was really tough to make the choice, yet I know it was the smartest thing for me to do this year. And you know what, everyone still loves me without the party.
My biggest message to you…is to find the “you” that keeps causing the overload and stress. Then make the choice to let go some, just chill and enjoy the holidays for their true meanings. Peace, Love and Joy.
Belanie and Brian B. , I wish you both a wonderful time over the holidays with your loved ones.
Brian, I thank you for your well wishes. May you and your family be blessed!
I love love love your suggestions! I know our calendar commitments increases at least 25-30% or more in the holidays and your practical suggestions allows me to reduce the doingness/stress creating, ‘have to’ elements while actually increasing the meaningfulness to the holidays.
I’ve struggled with the gift card piece as well and think your solution is such a great way to personalize, give quality time and allow meaningful memories and traditions to be created.
Two years ago we let our teenage daughter have her way with decorating the tree as well as the decor elements around our home. She did an amazing job and now has been her job ever since. She’s perfect for it with all her creativity and unique way of looking at things. She loves doing it and we love enjoying the gift! Thanks Belanie for your insight and wisdom. Hugs from afar!
That’s a huge acknowledgment coming from you, given what you do in the world of mom’s, health and wellness. Feel free to share it with others and stick it on your site if you wish. It’s really interesting seeing others in my family lighten up just by me making some of these minor shifts in my willingness to let go of so much “perfection.”
Tamara, I share this with you and it is something I keep hearing over an over, especially this year. Our mother was young when she died following 3 painfully ill years. About 2 months before she passed on, I was in the kitchen of her home doing the dishes. She was seated in the living room but we were talking back and forth. She called out to me, I walked to the living room to see what seemed so urgent… her words, “Honey, come be with me, those dishes will be there over and over after I am gone.” It’s so true life goes on and it’s NOW that we are living. I hear her voice louder and louder NOW days.
Merry Christmas to you!