Ok, by now, I’m sure your family get-togethers have been planned and you’re probably already planning the menu for guests, and maybe even starting to do some serious house cleaning. This Christmas has been one of the most hectic I’ve had in years…and planning parties and going to them can be more stress than it’s worth, sometimes. Since my husband and I both have family in the town where we live, this means sheer chaos. Fortunately, I’ve applied the below tips, and they’ve saved me so much stress this season!
1. Don’t be afraid to say “No”. It’s ok to not go to great aunt Geraldine’s get-together every year. If you absolutely have to go. It’s also ok to ask if you can just “drop-in” at get-togethers. This is a time for peace on earth, goodwill toward men, and it shouldn’t leave you wanting to rip your hair….or anyone else’s for that matter, out. If you need to, write a list of your top events. When it’s written down, you’re more likely to stick to it.
2. Don’t get caught up in commercialization. I’m crafty, but there are gift ideas for even the most “uncrafty” of us. I like being creative, and it helps calm my stress levels way down. I like to listen to audiobooks, or even my favorite music while I crochet. Currently, I’m listening to C.S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet. To be honest, sometimes holiday shoppers are rude, and that just makes me cranky to see people being so selfish when there are plenty around the world who have nothing, so we like the low maintenance approach. Even if it means ordering online, don’t get caught up in the frenzy.
3. Keep some sort of fitness and food regime. Maintaining this order at home can keep you from going bananas! I have lots of short workouts on here! Just because you won’t make it to the squat rack today does not mean that training has to go out the window! Break it up into 10 min. in the morning and 10 minutes at night. Make a goal to drink water at home, and eat 3 servings of veggies a day if nothing else. Make it doable, and know that your body will thank you for it later…and so will your sanity.
4. Have a low maintenance family day. Put on a movie, a pot of wassail, and some chili, and just talk. Get caught up. This is a time for family, not to-do lists. If you’re saying, “but I can’t”, this means you’re too busy.
5. Bless someone else. I love all the “acts of kindness” challenges going on this month. It doesn’t have to be big, even just taking some food to a neighbor whose lost their job, will really bless someone, and take your mind off of your own problems! I mean really, can goods cost about seventy cents…There are plenty of ways you can help by donating time or resources this year.
I know from Thanksgiving to New Years’ things seem to get crazy, but I promise, if you write out a simple plan and stick to it. You and your loved ones will reap the benefits.