The holiday season begins this week. It’s a stressful time for so many, so I wanted to share some little tips I’ve learned over the years to reduce stress and make the days enjoyable.
Ask for help
My introversion turns into a bit of social anxiety that really ramps up over the holidays, especially if I think about it. (The Law of Attraction is at work here, so I’m trying to envision a happy, peaceful holiday season.) A few years ago, I found the solution. If I simply ask my husband for help and support, he does! It’s like magic!
If your family is willing to help cook, let them. It will give them a sense of pride and investment in the meal, and will relieve the stress from the chef.
Give yourself a break
My friend said she struggles with the frozen turkey every year. I can’t imagine what that’s like, but I know that the preparation takes her away from the things she enjoys on Thanksgiving day. So this year, she’s buying a fresh turkey. It’s more expensive, but she has decided that she’s worth it. So true! Whatever your dreaded task is, think about if there’s another option that would make your day less stressful and try it.
Lower your expectations
Most of us get stressed or let down around the holidays because have a vision in our heads of how things should be. Just live in the moment and don’t expect everything to be perfect. Your guests won’t know the difference if you don’t tell them that you were going to use the new red table cloth but it has a hole in it all of a sudden, so you had to use last year’s gold table cloth. That’s not a tragedy. This year, focus on the family and friends and just try to enjoy your time with them without expecting so much from yourself.
Schedule some time out of the house to get away from it all. Maybe you go to a movie with friends, or take a yoga class. Treat yourself to some “me” time. You will return to your family refreshed and happy and ready to enjoy their company again. Try it.
Serving people with food sensitivities
Gluten and dairy allergies are more prevalent now than in years past. How do you serve your gluten-free or vegan guests? Let them help! In Johnna’s Kitchen has some other really great tips; my favorite is to let us bring food to the feast. Chances are, we love cooking and are excited to share our favorite dish. And we know we’ll have something to eat.
What are your tips for surviving the holidays?