Stop Thinking that Everything Has to be Perfect!
I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as absolute “perfection”. Maybe you’re the only one on your block with no Christmas lights up yet, or your cookies didn’t turn out exactly like the picture on the recipe or you couldn’t find “Johnny” the exact colour truck he wants. That’s life! And I promise nobody else has everything turn out perfectly either. Honestly, if you think about it – nobody really cares if your house isn’t spotlessly clean or you forgot the ice. They just want to spend time with you. If you try not to worry about the “less than perfect” things you have done or are doing, you’ll stress much less about them. Just let it go and enjoy!
Just Say No!
This is one of my biggest stresses! I have a really hard time saying no to anyone and anything. But, I have to say, I am getting better at it! I am learning to choose what events are important and which ones I can miss! Saying “no” politely will suffice and you don’t even have to give a reason. Just decline courteously and stick with your decision without feeling bad or guilty! People do understand that everyone is busy this time of year (including them).
Dieting this time of year is a very bad idea. If you skip meals or eat too little, you are setting yourself up to indulge too much on sweets and snacks like chips, nuts, cookies and other treats. This can also make your blood sugar fall, making you tired, cranky and often more stressed. And, of course there is also that feeling that you have failed by not sticking to your diet or losing weight. Try to eat a balanced diet during the holidays and enjoy some treats along the way. Often depriving yourself can cause you to stress even more.
Ask for Help
Don’t try to be “Super Woman”. I will bet there is no one who can do everything by themselves. Accept offers of help graciously. Most people enjoy bringing a “dish” to your party and don’t mind picking up something you have forgotten on their way over. I will also bet that your spouse wouldn’t mind “making dinner” once in a while if you are feeling a little overwhelmed. Cookies didn’t turn out or you burnt them and have no time to bake more before the party? No worries, stop at the local bakery on your way to the party – I am sure no one will mind. Most people need help during the holidays, or for that matter, at anytime. Just ask – you’ll find lots of people willing to help!
Prepare Things Ahead of Time
Leaving things to the last minute can be extremely stressful and that’s the time when things can go wrong. Look at the list of things you want to get done, and choose to do the items you can do early like preparing appetizers ahead and freezing them, wrapping gifts or packing for you trip. Staying up all night to get things done can lead to a very cranky person the next day. And that’s no fun!
Take Some Time for Yourself
This is something I personally have a hard time doing and I’m sure I am not alone! Don’t skip your exercise class or finishing that book you started. It’s important to have some down time. The laundry will wait! Try to do something for yourself everyday even if it is just taking 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine by yourself. You will be better able to take care of others if you take care of yourself first.
Most of All, Remember What The Season is About
Being with friends is the most important. Don’s stress about that pushy woman who took he last dress (in your size) you wanted to purchase. Remember that this season is not about gifts or lights or the perfect party dress. It is about spending time with the people you care about. So relax, enjoy that glass of wine and the people you are surrounded with.
I wish you all a happy, joyful and stress-free Christmas/Holiday Season!