“Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts.” – Loretta Laroche
A few days ago I was on a flight returning home from a business trip and I could feel a heaviness start to weigh on me. Having just completed a work conference that consumed most of the previous month, the realization that the holiday countdown is in full-force hit me like a ton of bricks! Thing is I’ve got four kids and not one gift bought. How did this happen? I’m having a hard enough time keeping up with Freddy (our Elf on a Shelf) let alone checking-off everyone’s wish list, holiday baking and candy-making, decorating – the list goes on.
I decided to take a deep breath and figure out a way to make the next two weeks productive – and hopefully! enjoyable. (Also, without me binging on desserts like the above quote suggests!) I research almost everything – so I thought I’d share some ideas we all can do to help alleviate stress this season:
1. Set appropriate expectations. I knew life was going to be nuts starting late-October through December. Had I not set the expectation that where I am (is exactly where I’d be) – I know my frustration level would be far greater. It’s also wise to keep in mind that you’re only one person and we all have holiday merrymaking limitations! Unless you have a team of people helping you, you can only do so much.
2. Do only what matters most. Many families have holiday traditions – some more important than others. Over the years we’ve filtered out a few and this year I’m focused on only the ones I know my kids would miss… the other stuff often only adds guilt and stress – so they’re gone. Doing this leaves more room for the ‘good’ stuff.
3. Keep it simple. I’ve discovered that we don’t need to make 10 different holiday baked items or crafts – often just a few will still give you pleasure without the stress and anxiety that you need to ‘fit it all in’! It’s so important to embrace the beauty and remember the real meaning of this season.
4. Take care of yourself. An obvious concept that bears repeating. Regardless of the time of year you always need to eat well, get rest and physically move. Making a plan that includes finding joy amid the chaos while staying healthy in the process is so important. (We can help with a quick, healthy lunch or dinner and some great gift ideas! See info below.)
Wishing you and your loved ones a stress-free and happy holiday! Thanks so much for your business. Hope your month is full of bliss!
– Jennifer (& Mark) McNamara, Bliss & Vinegar Owners