5 Ways to Enjoy Holidays without Stress

The holidays have become almost synonymous with stress. Whether family is coming, you are planning to entertain friends, or just have to prepare your house for the season, stress abounds and what was supposed to be a vacation from the anxiety of life, becomes one of the most hectic times of the year.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, you probably know what I’m talking about. So how can you enjoy holidays without stress? But there are a few ways you can make your holiday less stressful.

1)      Plan ahead but stay flexible. Admittedly, most of us are already planners. We plan voraciously, trying to make every detail perfect long before our mother-in-law, sisters, or uncles appear on our doorstep. And that’s fine. Where the stress comes in is when nothing goes according to plan. There’s no reason to throw a fit if Aunt Margret shows up with a pumpkin pie (even though you expressly asked her to make apple) just as you are putting yours in the oven. It’s the ability to accept what comes that will make the holiday enjoyable, not the perfectly measure place settings.

2)      Stick with recipes you know. Some of us are adventurous cooks, and when the holidays start to roll around, we think it might be fun to try something new. And while that may be true, it may be too risky unless  we could predict and ensure a positive outcome. Instead of trying to make a deep-fried turkey out on the back porch, stick with your tried-and-true oven-roasted version, which you know will please and will come out perfectly every time.

3)      Make it a family affair. Some women try to take everything on themselves, but it can be more fun and less stressful to involve your husband or kids in the cooking and preparations. Kids love to decorate cookies and your husband is more than capable of slicing vegetables for stuffing. If you use this time to talk and laugh with your family, the whole event will be more fun.

4)      Instead of a meal, try an activity. Eating a giant meal may be fun for them, but it’s hectic and stressful for you. If you usually make Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukah meals for the entire family, try something new. Doing something as a family can be more fun (and less pressure on you as cook) than waiting around for a large meal. Try ice-skating, singing songs, playing board games,  or a walk around the neighborhood to see decorations.

5)      Make it about the family. The holidays often become directed towards the decorations, the presents, and the food. But no matter what holiday you celebrate, the focus should be the family. If you find yourself tearing your hair out about what you’re going to make, where everyone is going to stay, and if you can afford presents for all the nieces and nephews, remember that spending time with the family, bonding as a unit, is the real aim of the holidays.


About Darlene

Darlene is passionate and enthusiastic about helping women simplify their lives, develop stress resilience, regain balance, and find happiness, despite the personal storms life throws at them. She has published a popular series of stress management books which focus on simple, practical and healthy stress relief strategies, as well as provide FREE resources and services that help women become more stress-resilient.

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