What do you get when you start with an over-scheduled holiday schedule, mix in winter break for the kids and end-of-year work deadlines for the parents, add in-laws visiting and staying at your house, beat in financial pressures to complete your holiday gift list, and top it off with sprinkles of cold, dark, long winter days? The result of this typical holiday recipe is burnt out parents, over tired children and an unsettling household that is bubbling with constant chaos.
If a holiday season full of stress, hectic schedules and total exhaustion sounds all too familiar for you and your family, it is time to re-write your family’s holiday recipe this year to include plenty of doses of health, wellness, relaxation and rejuvenation to fuel an enjoyable, family-centered holiday season. The secret recipe to a stress-free holiday includes the following key ingredients.
Begin with an Organized Schedule
Holiday schedules can quickly get out of hand when you try to be everywhere and do everything at one time. Before the holidays get into full swing, sit down with your family and make a list of the “must-attend” events like school performances and holiday work parties, a “maybe” events list such as local community festivals, and a “save for next year” list for events that may not be a good fit for your family this year. By prioritizing and organizing your family’s schedule ahead of the holidays, you can reduce the risk of over committing yourself and your family when you are in the middle of the busy holiday season.
Stir in Simple Holiday Tradition for the Whole Family to Enjoy
With so many great ideas from Pinterest, holiday magazines and television talk shows, holiday craft projects can quickly become overwhelming and intimidating. Before getting your elbows deep in pounds of gingerbread dough and legs tangled in rows of popcorn strands, take a deep breath, relax and pick only one meaningful holiday project this year to create lasting family traditions. Remember, the actual project isn’t as important as the time spent as a family making holiday memories together. And, don’t worry about making a big mess either – accept that messes happen with projects and make family clean up part of the overall project. This helps eliminate the stress of gooey project leftovers and spills falling on only one family member’s shoulders (usually mom or dad!).
Mix in Perspective and Continually Add True Reasons for the Season
With last minute holiday sales, coordinating family travel plans and juggling winter break activities, it is easy to lose sight of the true reasons for the holiday season. Whatever your family celebrates this holiday season, make sure to keep the purpose of the season at the forefront of your holiday activities. Maintaining a focused perspective can help eliminate the common holiday noise and pressures that can end up causing unnecessary stress on you and your family.
Substitute Consumer Chaos with a Slimmed Down Holiday Gift List
Finding the latest and greatest technology gadget on the market or the hottest toy on the top gift lists can quickly become exhausting and de-motivating. Instead of spinning your wheels racing your shopping cart down store aisles or frantically navigating your mouse during an online cyber sale, reduce the “stuff’ on your holiday gift list and increase the “meaning” of one or two heart-felt, genuine gifts. If you have a large family and are overwhelmed financially and mentally trying to buy for everyone on your list, suggest that your family set up a gift giving exchange system where each person in the family is responsible for giving a gift within a certain price range to only one other family member. This easy system can help eliminate going overboard in the gift category and reduce New Year clutter of gadgets and toys that only end up collecting dust after the holiday season ends.
Skip the Abundant Sweets and Treats of the Season
Holiday sweets and treats can be delicious this time of year, but too much of a good thing can stress your body’s internal systems and leave you feeling mentally tired and irritable. While skipping sweets altogether during the holidays is unrealistic, make it a priority to pace yourself throughout the season by being mindful of portion control and eating sweet treats that are only available during the holiday season.
Top Off Your Holiday Season with a Special Treat of Therapeutic Massage
When it is all said and done, those who survive the hectic holiday season with the least amount of physical and mental stress are the ones who understand the importance of taking time out for yourself during and after the activity-packed holiday season. Topping off your holiday season with a therapeutic massage session is a key ingredient to releasing the stress and tension that builds up in your mind and body during the holidays. Massage therapy addresses a variety of health conditions, the most prevalent being stress-related tension. A therapeutic massage will provide you with increased levels of relaxation and rejuvenation so you can close out the holiday season stress-free and ready for new adventures as you embark on the New Year.