The holiday season has arrived, and with it comes the opportunity to craft stress free holidays filled with moments that will etch themselves into the album of cherished memories. However, let’s face it: the festive season can swiftly turn into a tumultuous whirlwind of anxiety, endless gatherings, and budgetary constraints. In our pursuit of the “perfect” Thanksgiving or Christmas, the very spirit of the season often slips through our fingers. So, we share our best tips to ensure that your holiday season remains a sanctuary of serenity and joy.
Tips for Stress Free Holidays
Early Planning and Organization
One of the essential keys to stress free holidays is early planning and organization. I’m a list maker so I always start by creating a holiday planning schedule. Setting clear priorities, making a checklist, and establishing a budget will give you control over your holiday preparations.
Planning ahead reduces the likelihood of a last-minute rush and chaos. Having a well-thought-out plan can focus on what truly matters during this time, cherishing the moments with your family and friends.
Embracing a simplified approach to holiday preparations not only reduces stress but also frees up time and energy for meaningful activities.
Begin with a blank schedule, and note down important dates and tasks to complete. then create a checklist that covers everything from gift shopping to decorating and meal planning. By having a roadmap, you can approach the holiday season with a sense of control and purpose.
Healthy Eating During the Holidays
As we prepare for the array of rich, decadent holiday meals, it’s essential to maintain healthy eating between gatherings and parties to help create stress free holidays. While the holiday season undoubtedly offers a tempting spread of indulgent dishes and sweet treats, striking a balance with nutritious choices is key to ensuring both your well-being and enjoyment throughout the holiday season.
If you want more tips on avoiding the holiday belly ache and stomach issues, you can learn more about it in our post.
My first suggestion would be to practice portion control. While it’s perfectly normal to indulge in delectable holiday offerings, keeping an eye on your portion sizes can make a significant difference. By savoring smaller portions, you can relish the flavors without overwhelming your body with excessive calories.
As important, if not more so than portion control, is staying hydrated. Adequate water intake is often overlooked during the holiday season because of all the other seasonal beverages we enjoy. Staying hydrated plays a vital role in maintaining your overall health and well-being all year round. Water not only does it help control your appetite but also keeps you hydrated, alert, and ready to enjoy the festivities.
One of the things we’re careful to do in our home is mindful eating. By slowing down and enjoying the taste, textures, and smell of your food, you’re more likely to recognize your body’s signals of fullness and avoid overeating.
A few indulgences during the holiday season are entirely reasonable and enjoyable. It’s about finding the balance. Allow yourself to enjoy those special holiday dishes, but do so mindfully, appreciating each bite and the joy it brings.
Frugal, Thoughtful Gift-Giving
To truly embrace the concept of simple living during the holidays, it’s essential to stress free holidays.
- Personalization of Gift Presentation – Creative gift wrapping is a beautiful way to add a personal touch to your presents. Utilize colorful stickers, retro Christmas stickers, and twine to create unique wrapping that reflects your thoughts and care.
- Repurposing Holiday Greeting Cards – Instead of discarding last year’s Christmas cards, repurpose them. The possibilities are endless.
- Cut off the front of a card and turn it into a holiday greeting postcard.
- Add a little ribbon around the edges, and they transform into exquisite gift-wrapping decorations or labels.
- You can even use them for fun holiday games or decorations.
- Attach them to a string of Christmas-colored yarn, twine, or tinsel to create a meaningful decoration that welcomes guests throughout the season.
- Craft Your Own Cards and Envelopes – All you need are an envelope maker and glue. With these tools, you can craft unique envelopes from newspapers, handouts, or used wrapping paper. These homemade cards and envelopes not only add a personal touch to your greetings but are also environmentally conscious.
- Homemade Gifts for Heartfelt Giving – When you’re on a tight budget, consider the charm of homemade gifts. The effort and love you put into homemade gifts make them truly special.
- Baking cookies, cupcakes, cakes, bread, or making any homemade item you enjoy can be a heartfelt gift.
- Most of these gifts can be made in advance.
- Place your homemade treats in a gift bag, add a sticker, and you’re done.
- Embracing Secondhand Treasures – An essential aspect of simple living is shopping at secondhand stores and flea markets. Instead of chasing after the latest trends and big-box store offerings, explore these places to find something truly unique. Secondhand stores and flea markets are goldmines of hidden treasures.
Using Nature and Food as Decorations
Creating stress free holidays includes simplifying your holiday decorations. Natural elements, such as leaves, berries, pinecones, and fruits, can be creatively incorporated into your decor. Enhance your holiday atmosphere with the soft glow of tea lights, candles, or bowls filled with strings of white lights. These simple additions can transform your space into a festive wonderland.
Consider getting creative with food, too. Arrange holiday-themed bowls filled with cookies or treats, or craft a snowman out of petite sandwiches adorned with carrots and lettuce. These uncomplicated but delightful decorations brighten up your home during the season.
Preserve and decorate an apple with cloves as an aromatic decoration and takeaway gift. This was given by Aunt Polly to Ma Ingalls and Grandma Ingalls in Little House in the Big Woods. These nature-inspired decorations not only save money but also add a warm, natural touch to your holiday surroundings.
Take Care of Yourself
Amidst the whirlwind of holiday preparations, it’s easy to forget the importance of caring for yourself. When we first married, my husband had to continually tell me, “If you don’t take care of yourself, how will you be able to take of me, the house, the kids, or anything else? You have to take care of you.” It was a hard thing for me to wrap my mind around, but like always, he was right.
While the season is brimming with joy and celebration, it can also bring a fair share of stress and exhaustion. That’s why taking time for self-care is crucial to ensure you remain energized and can enjoy stress free holidays.
Essential oils are nature’s aromatic wonders, offering a range of therapeutic benefits that can enhance your well-being, especially during the holidays. These concentrated plant extracts have been used for centuries to promote relaxation, relieve stress, and create a soothing atmosphere.
Incorporating essential oils into your self-care routine can be a game-changer. Our favorite place to order essential oils is from Mountain Rose Herbs. I use essential oils every day. These are my most often used methods.
- Aromatherapy Diffusers: Aromatherapy diffusers are a popular way to disperse the calming scents of essential oils throughout your home or office. Diffusers create an ambiance that promotes relaxation and eases stress. I like to use oils that smell like the holiday such as cinnamon, vanilla, clove, fir, peppermint, or even cedar.
- DIY Aromatic Sprays: Create your own calming room sprays with essential oils and water. A spritz of your favorite blend can instantly transform your surroundings, making them more inviting and serene. Think of it as a mini spa experience in the comfort of your home.
- Epsom Salt Bath with Essential Oils: One of my favorite ways to treat myself is a warm bath infused with Epsom salts and 15-20 drops of whatever essential oil I feel like having. It works wonders for relaxation. Epsom salts soothe sore muscles and draws out toxins while essential oils enhance the experience, turning your bath into a calming oasis.
- DIY Scented Candles: Making your own scented candles with essential oils can be a therapeutic activity in itself. The gentle flicker of candlelight combined with the soothing aroma of essential oils can create a serene ambiance, perfect for unwinding after a busy day of holiday preparations. There are many candle-making kits available.
- Aromatherapy Roll-Ons: Essential oil roll-ons are convenient and portable. You can carry them with you and apply a touch of your chosen oil whenever you need a moment of calm. The act of rolling on the oil and taking a deep breath can be an instant stress-reliever. My daughter uses one every time she goes shopping.
By incorporating essential oils and indulgent baths into your self-care routine during the holidays, you gift yourself moments of pure relaxation and rejuvenation.
The holiday season can quickly overwhelm us with social gatherings and gift shopping becomes overwhelming and stressful. However, being thankful can be a powerful antidote to the holiday stress. Being thankful allows us to focus on meaningful connections with loved ones, the joy of giving, and the warmth of togetherness rather than getting lost in the stress of perfectionism and materialism.
Expressing gratitude also fosters a sense of contentment and reduces the pressure to overextend ourselves during the holidays. A grateful attitude not only affects our outlook, it is contagious. It is a powerful tool for creating stress free holidays filled with peace and joy that can turn the most hectic time of the year.
During the holiday season, with the relentless hustle and bustle that’s all around us, it is possible to slow down and enjoy them. Stress-free holidays aren’t about extravagance; they’re about simplicity, thoughtfulness, and connection.
Remember, the spirit of the season lies in the joy of sharing moments with family and friends. Keep your holidays simple, so they are simply wonderful. As you embark on your journey to stress free holidays, may your heart be light, your spirit be merry, and your season truly joyful. Happy Holidays!