Last Minute Tips to Keep your Sanity during the Holidays

This time of year can be super stressful.  Whatever this year brings – whether it’s a house full of your extended relatives or taking a family trip – the holidays are known to drive people temporarily in sane.  Well, not really, but it may feel that way in the moment.  As you approach your big holiday, we’ve got some last minute tips to keep your sanity during the holidays.

Buy your holiday meal.  Everyone feels so obligated to cook a festive feast for the holidays.  But does your family really care if you cooked it or you bought it?  The truth is, if you’re not a super great cook, your guests may enjoy it more if you buy the meal, or at least the most complicated parts.  And they would probably enjoy YOU more if you aren’t cooped up in the kitchen all day.  Worried about what goes into a store-bought meal?  In these modern times of healthful eating, there are plenty of options for free-range birds, non-GMO sides and low-sugar desserts.  Chances are your family won’t know the difference.  So if the thought of spending all day in the kitchen is haunting you, act now and call around to see who has a holiday meal package available.

portrait of a beautiful young woman at Christmas covering her ears with handsWhen you feel your blood start to boil, take a walk.  As much as you try to loosen up and let things go, some family members or stressful situations may still get to you.  If you feel that moment of anger and frustration coming on, walk it off.  Excuse yourself, put the kids in a stroller and push them around the neighborhood for 20 minutes until you’ve calmed down.  The fresh air and invigorating elevation of your heart rate will release wonderful brain chemicals that will help you cope when you return.

Forgot to send a holiday card?  Send an email right now.  With all you had to do to prep for the holidays, perhaps you never got around to sending a holiday card.  It’s not too late!  In fact, people love getting holiday cards in any format at any time.  Get on your computer and send a holiday e-card to friends and family.  If you have time to make a photo collage, go for it.  Otherwise, any online card or simple email with a meaningful message to let others know you are thinking of them will warm the hearts of those you love.

Buy yourself a present.  You’ve shopped for everyone else but what about you?  Did you put something for yourself under the tree?  It may be a bit late to head to the mall for your own gift but you can order something for yourself online that you can look forward to receiving after the craziness of the holidays are over.  If you can’t think of an item you want, buy yourself a spa gift certificate for ultimate relaxation after surviving the holidays.

Avoid stressful moments.  If you have beef with a certain relative, don’t engage in controversial conversation over the holidays.  That doesn’t mean you have to ignore the person, but do come up with three or four light topics that you can talk about without getting into a shouting match.  If someone else says something less than pleasant to you, keep the peace by being the bigger person and not letting it agitate you too much.  Vent your frustrations to your nearest and dearest at a later time when it is more appropriate.

Make yourself laugh.  Even fake laughing can make you feel better; it’s a proven fact.  Try to find the humor in the chaos of the holidays.  Make a choice to turn around frustrating situations by simply laughing at them.  Don’t do it rudely or maliciously, but definitely do it.  Who cares if no one else understands why you are laughing?  It’s certainly better than exploding.  It may even be contagious and help turn your household into one full of laughter and cheer.

Eat healthily….but still indulge a little.  One thing that can increase stress is eating too much sugar, fat and salt in a short period.  If those components sound like your holiday table, think fast and add a few healthful dishes to your menu.  What you eat greatly affects your mood and energy levels so do your best to keep your eating clean and don’t overdo it.  However, it is the holidays so indulge a little here and there.  Look for smarter options like a sliver of pie covered with vanilla Greek yogurt instead of ice cream, a bowl of fruit or a dark chocolate treat.

We know you can keep your sanity during the holidays with these tips!  Have a happy and bright holiday!!