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Challenge: Reducing Holiday Stress

How To Keep Your Cool During The Holidays

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Do you find yourself getting stressed out during the holidays? Do you secretly wish they could just be over?

When did the holidays become so stressful? Also, why are they so stressful? This should be a wonderful time of year when we focus on spending time with family.

So, how can you keep your sanity during the holidays and still get everything done?

  • Prepare and Organize

For me, nothing stresses me out more than being unorganized. And, I didn’t even know that about myself until I turned 30!

If you go into the holiday season with a plan, I promise you, it will cut out some of that stress from the get-go.

  • Online Shopping

As much as I love to support local businesses, online shopping is such a sigh of relief for me during the holidays. I can curl up in my blanket after my daughter goes to bed and do all the Christmas shopping in one sitting. Some online stores like Amazon will even do the gift wrapping for you!

One tip for next year is to do all of your online shopping on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. There are so many more online deals now than there used to be.

If you really want to shop local, search your area for vendor festivals. In my area, they have a couple weekends where local vendors get together at one time. This allows you to shop local without worrying about traveling all over town.

  • Get The Kids Involved

You’d be surprised how many kids actually enjoy helping their parents with things.

Find age appropriate tasks that your kids can do. For younger ones, have them help bake and cook with you. The key to this is to allow yourself to let go of perfection.

My 2-year old daughter loves helping me bake and cook. She helps me mix batter for baking, and will do small tasks like snapping asparagus or ripping up lettuce for meals. Would it be easier if I did it myself? Yes! But seeing the joy on her face and experiencing that bonding moment is worth it.

For older kids, they can help out with more advanced things like setting the table nicely for guests, or getting cold appetizers together. When I was younger one of my favorite things to do when we had a party was to put out the veggie and cracker platters. I would arrange them in unique designs and then set them out on the coffee table.

Older kids can also help wrap gifts for others (obviously not ones for them or their siblings).

Just relax, and let your kids help out. Have fun with it and it could become a family tradition!

  • Family Outings

It may seem like the season for family outings is over, but during the holidays there are a lot of things you can do!

Go drive around and look at lights or search for winter festivals in your area.

Getting out of the house during this time of year is really important! Take a break from household chores and go to the museum or an aquarium. Go see a movie together.

  • Get Creative During School Break

Breaks from school can cause any parent stress. Prepare ahead of time with fun activities.

Get the kids outdoors as much as possible. You’ll be amazed at how much fresh air can cure boredom!

If you can’t get outside, then get creative indoors. Set up a scavenger hunt, an obstacle course, even indoor mini golf.

Buy activity books and cheap dollar store art projects. My local craft store has $1.00 prepackaged art projects for all ages. All you need is glue.

  • Turn Cleaning Into A Dance Party

Yes, I’m serious. Get everyone involved, turn on your favorite music, and go to town. Allow everyone a chance to put on their choice of tunes.

Have fun together while you work. It might take twice as long, but it will be twice as fun. Trust me, your kids will love you for it, especially if you get really into it!

The key to keeping your cool during the holidays is to just let it go and have fun. Don’t stress over making your gifts perfectly wrapped, or going overboard with the cooking/baking. No one will really care if your cookies are store bought, or if you decided to get catering for this years party instead of cooking.

Focus on your family and your time spent together. Those are the moments you’ll remember after all.

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