The holidays tend to stress out the most even keeled of us. Entertaining guests, attending parties, preparing for said events, along with holiday shopping and passing the hell out at your account [im]balance after all is said and done makes most of us want to run and hide somewhere until January 2. Here are some tips to tide you through Thanksgiving and the rest of the winter holidays.
Plan in advance. Yea, I know, it’s not a new tip. But it’s something that most of us don’t do. If we took a couple of minutes to plan things in advance things would run much more smoothly. Making lists, planning your routes, and preparing for activities in advance goes a long way.
Say you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner. You need to plan the meal, shop, cook, put together an outfit, get your hair and nails done (or do it yourself if you have the talent). It would behoove you to make a grocery list, plan your outfit in advance, schedule that hair appointment, and prep as many of the food items as you can in advance. This will prevent you from running around like a chicken with her head cut off the night before the big dinner because you didn’t know what you’re going to wear, you waited until the last minute to shop for food, and you waited too late to cook. Yea, I know you had a gazillion reasons to put it off. Procrastination is not your friend. The day of the party all you should be doing is setting the table, heating up the food, and drinking wine. When your guests arrive you should be relaxed, well put together, and ready to play hostess.
Don’t feel bad for what you cannot do. There’s a saying that goes something like, “change the things you can, and accept the things you cannot.” You are one person with two legs and two arms. You can’t do everything. Don’t bug out when you make your holiday rounds and you can’t make it to see everyone. People generally understand if you have prior commitments. And if they don’t, guess what? That’s not your problem. Sometimes the demands of the holidays cause us to overcommit to things, in turn making us super stressed and overwhelmed. You can’t carbon copy yourself to be in more than one place at a time, so do the best you can.
Shop early. As stated earlier, get your shopping done early so you aren’t stuck in traffic trying to get to the store, only to find limited selection and obscenely long lines. You’ll be beating your head on the steering wheel of your car and cussing and elbowing folks at the store. Save yourself the stress and get to the store at least 2-3 days prior to cooking.
Indulge. Isn’t that what the holidays are about? Indulging in food, merriment, and generosity? Go ahead and eat. Drink. Be Merry. Eat pie and cake, and fall asleep after you eat. Imbibe until Sunday. Then Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, get your butt up and exercise. Get back on that diet! You know you were dead wrong for inhaling that sweet potato pie like that. But hey, it was fun while it lasted.
Express Gratitude. Give thanks to your creator, or if you are non-believer, simply be thankful for what you have. To quote Pac, “it’s so much trouble in the world…can’t nobody feel ya pain.” You are lucky to get a hot meal. You are lucky to have shelter, clean water, and to have internet access. Count your blessings.
Share some of your tips to beat holiday stress. How do you deal during the holidays?