Destressing the Holidays

The holidays can be very stressful, but since skipping them is not an option, here are 10 ideas for making the season a little easier this year:

1. Get Help Decorating

The thought of fighting with strands of lights raises the blood pressure for many. Avoid the stress by hiring professionals to install lights, garlands, and trees. Another option is to have a decorating party. Invite your girlfriends over, pop in your favorite holiday CD or movie, and start decking the halls.

2. Let Someone Else Do the Cooking

Planning a holiday meal can be extremely stressful, especially if you’re expected to do all the cooking. If you are having company over, ask your guests to bring a dish. If you are having out of town guests, have all or part of your meal catered. Many grocery stores and restaurants have catering options for holiday meals.

3. Don’t Over Do It

There is no such thing as the perfect holiday, and planning for it will only lead to disappointment. Be realistic about your holiday budget, spending time with family, and work committments. You don’t want to spread yourself to thin.

4. Avoid the Malls

One of the best features of the internet is online shopping. It’s convenient and fast, and many stores have exclusive online deals you won’t find in stores. You can ship directly to your loved ones, so you can avoid the post office.

5. Get Organized

Making lists is a great way to stay on top of everything, and crossing items of your list can help keep you motivated. Lists can also help you delegate. Make a list for the kids or your spouse to help get through your tasks faster. This will free up time for fun holiday activities.

6. Get Enough Sleep

With so many things to do, we often get up early and stay up late to fit it all in. Lack of sleep will cause irritability, low energy levels, and lack of focus. It can also increase your risk of getting sick.

7. Pamper Yourself

Find a day or maybe just a few hours for a little “me” time to recharge. Get a relaxing spa treatment or massage, get a manicure and pedicure, go see a movie in the middle of the day, or find a quiet corner and read.

8. Exercise

Physical activity can lift your spirits and improve your health. Take the dog for a walk or take the kids to the park. Being outside is a great way to recharge.

9. Unplug

Spend some time away from technology. Turn off your phone and computer, don’t check your email, don’t update your Facebook status, and save the tweet for later. Just enjoy the peace and quiet for the day.

10. Just Say “No”

You don’t have to accept every party invitation or make cookies for holiday bake sale. A lot of holiday stress is brought on ourselves by taking on too much. Select a few activities you actually want to attend, so you can enjoy your holiday.

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