How to Have a (Somewhat) Stress Free Holiday Season

Photo by Sara-Anne Photography

Photo by Sara-Anne Photography

The holiday season can surely be stressful! It brings with it so many extra demands such as shopping, cooking, and entertaining, just to name a few. I love the holidays as much as anyone, but it’s so easy to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in the perfection game. I want to buy everyone the perfect gifts, have the perfect tree and decorations, make the perfect meals, throw the perfect party, and the list goes on! The truth is…nothing is perfect and it’s waste of time and especially emotion to try and make it that way.

I’ve been working hard on holiday content for Crazy Blonde Life and that definitely includes a lot of making-things-look-perfect pictures and creating of gift guides. While I truly love what I do, I will be the first to admit that it’s a lot of work. I spend soo much time staging pictures, making videos and coming up with outfits that go on the blog. All of this is a creative outlet for me, but I know that it can appear that I have the perfect life if you only look at the pictures. If you’ve been really reading what I write here on the blog, you know that my life isn’t perfect because I’ve been very honest and up front about things. Lately though, things have been feeling a lot better in my life (more about that later), and I think it’s been reflected in my content. I’ve loved coming up with the gift guides that I’ll be sharing, thinking about fun outfits and making cooking and style videos, but I know that for some the holidays can not only be stressful, they can be downright difficult and sad. Given that, I thought it might be nice to stop and talk about ways to reduce stress levels and focus on what is really important…spending time with people you love, and brightening the season for those that need your light!

Here are a few ways to reduce holiday stress and really enjoy this time of year!

ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS

Sometimes, things don’t go just as you would have hoped. - loved ones can’t make it home or you’ve experienced a death in the family. It okay to take time to cry or be a sad about the things that you’re grieving over.

REACH OUT AND HELP OTHERS

Volunteering not only helps brighten the season for others, it can also lift your spirits and bring more meaning to the holiday season.

BE REALISTIC

As I said above, there is no such thing as a perfect holiday and as families grow and change, the holidays change as well. Be willing to be flexible and understand that traditions and rituals can be different and even better. I’m sad this year because Lauren and Chris and my precious babies won’t be here until the day after Christmas. I’ll try to make the most of things by remembering that we’ll just have Christmas morning twice and we’ll FaceTime on December 25.

DON’T TRY TO BUY HAPPINESS

The holidays can be an expensive time for everyone. Remember that the greatest gift is spending time with those you care about.

PLAN AHEAD

Plan your menus and make shopping lists so you don’t forget anything when you’re at the grocery store (this can also be a real money saver).

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, decorating, gift buying, etc. enlist the help of family members. Delegate jobs so that the burden of work is more evenly distributed. It’s better to ask for help than to be bitter because no one offers!

LEARN TO SAY NO

This kind of goes along with asking for help. Sometimes, it’s best to just say no instead of saying yes and feeling resentful. You simply cannot participate in everything and you’ll be much happier if you have a little downtime this year!

DON’T ABANDON YOUR HEALTHY HABITS

There is so much temptation and so little time during the holidays. With all of the added responsibilities, it’s easy to eat on the go and give up workout and meditation time. All of this only adds to stress and guilt. Taking care of yourself is more important now than over!

Take 10 minutes in the morning to be appreciative of what is good in your life.

Exercise every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes (try one of my workout videos)

Keep up with your supplements and consider adding an adaptogen (adaptogens help expand your body's capacity to handle mental, physical and emotional stress) to help you handle stress.

Of course, you’re going to want to indulge in some delicious holiday treats, but it’s all about balance. Eat 1 or 2 bites of those delicious treats, or share with a friend. Try to sit down for meals (or make a smoothie in the morning) and be mindful of what’s going in your mouth…your hips will thank you in January.

Below are a few great quality supplements that will help with stress as well as gut health and sleep.

DON’T LET THE HOLIDAYS BECOME SOMETHING YOU DREAD. TAKE THE STEPS TO PREVENT THE STRESS AND CRAZINESS THAT CAN BE SUCH A PART OF THE SEASON. RECOGNIZE THE THINGS THAT TRIGGER YOU AND DEAL WITH THEM BEFORE THEY BECOME SO BIG THAT YOU HAVE A MELTDOWN. GET UP IN THE MORNING AND REMIND YOURSELF THAT WHAT YOU WANT IS PEACE AND JOY!