Make the season more enjoyable by stopping stress in its tracks with these expert tips
When holiday tension becomes too much, remember you don’t have to do it all or see everyone or do all the things.
Throw away shopping list
Forgo the stress of shopping for family members in favour of sharing special moments and experiences.
Remember to have fun
Take a deep breath and savour the moment. Give yourself permission to forget about all those tasks still left to-do.
Hold on to daily rituals
If you like to read for half an hour before bed, don’t give it up in favour of yet another holiday chore. Our everyday practices help calm us.
Ask for help
In fact, guests prefer to take on some small tasks, instead of standing around while you attempt to do everything yourself. Ask an older relative if he’d mind greeting guests at the door. Recruit teens to offer fruit juice. It empowers people.
Just say “no” sometimes
Can’t say no? Then keep your gatherings small and intimate. Get together with a few of your closest friends or relatives for the holidays. Choose to throw the big blowout parties at another time of the year, when you and your guests will have fewer commitments competing for your precious time.
Recite some affirmations
By taking a moment out of your hectic holiday schedule to recite a positive affirmation sounds like a bunch of hooey, you might be overthinking it – and underestimating the power of the quick, easy, and free ritual. The power of positivity actually alters your brain’s response, which reduces stress and promotes happiness. Try repeating something simple like, “I am loved,” “I am in control,” or, “I deserve to have a joyful and abundant holiday season.”
Tire out your pet before guests arrive
Take your dog outside for some playtime before your gathering. A tired pooch is a lot less likely to jump up on guests or bark incessantly every time the doorbell rings. For extra insurance, keep him occupied with a toy that dispenses treats, like the Kong.
Use the 30 minute rule
Sure, you want your home to look great for guests, but don’t fall prey to holiday house fever. That’s when you try to do too much in too little time. Cross off anything on your household prep list that will take more than a half-hour to do. The goal is to spiff up the house a little, not turn it into a showroom. A home is a family space and should look like one. Guests will appreciate the fact that you have tidied up but won’t feel uncomfortable in a spotless house or scared to sit on your immaculate couch.
Smell some lemons
Barreling through throngs of mall shoppers on the hunt for a last-minute gift? Step up to the perfume counter, peruse the testers and dab on a lemony fragrance. According to researchers lemon scents instantly boost your mood – who knew?!