I have always loved Christmas. The true meaning of the season, the way that people seem to just come together, family, friends and everything in between, but up until a few years ago? I also kind of dreaded the holidays. Why? Because I wanted things so perfect that I would stress myself out to the point of not sleeping. Somewhere along the way, I realized that its just crazy to be like that! So I sat down and I decided I was going to do 4 things to help myself. These 4 ways to ease holiday stress have been a huge help to me ever since I started using them. Take a look at them and give them a try. I’m sure they’ll help you the same way.
Making lists – Have I ever told you guys about my lists? No? I do NOT function without a list…daily. Each night before I go to bed, I make out my list for the next day. I include every single thing that I need to get done on my list…from blogging to showering. Why? Because it allows me to prioritize my actions for the day to ensure that I get everything done. These lists come in handy during the holidays too. I write down everything that has to get done…from making the mashed potatoes for dinners to wrapping presents and hanging garland. As I get things done, I mark them off of the list. I do a separate list for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This keeps me from having a huge list (huge lists can be overwhelming) and it separates the holidays so they don’t seem to just run together.
Start early – After I have my lists made out, I get started even if I can only do one or two things on them. I don’t feel rushed this way. There is nothing that will stress me out more than feeling like I’m rushed to get something done. I get cranky and not very likable when I feel rushed…lol. Just ask Mr. Six Dollar. For Thanksgiving I tend to start about a month early by pulling out decorations, going through them, making crafts and that type of thing. I plan my menu and start pulling together ingredients that early too. When it comes time to cook, I have a list of what order to cook things in and I start cooking and freezing about a week before. By starting early? I give myself that step up that as a full time working mom, I so desperately need.
Divide duties – While I love the holidays? There are just some things that I refuse to do…like climb into the attic to get down the decorations. Seriously! There are creepy crawlies up there I’m sure! (I’ve never looked so that statement could be totally false but hey, its dark up there!) So to avoid having to do those things? I delegate them.
Delegate…I like that word…lol.
Anyhow, by sharing duties, it lets me get those lists done. Kids can help string lights, husbands can grocery shop if needed, let the kids mix the dough for the dinner rolls and more. You get things done AND you have the added benefit of spending extra time with your family.
Don’t sweat it – If at the end of the day, you didn’t get it all done? Don’t beat yourself up over it. It is what it is and at the end of the day? The holidays are about family, love and everything in between. If the garland isn’t hung, if the mashed potatoes are lumpy and if the gravy flat out didn’t turn out? Its okay. Your family will still love you and remember this year simply for the fact that you tried. You never know too…it may turn into something you can laugh about later. Don’t believe me? Just ask my Emma about the year of the green turkey. She’d be happy to tell you…while she’s cracking up laughing. 😉
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