The holidays can be some of the most joyful times of the year — finding the perfect gift for loved ones, making favorite recipes, the lights and music. Of course, like anything, we can get stressed because we’re busy from work or focusing on making it the most memorable holiday. But there’s no need to stress! With some simple steps, you can forget your worries and stay focused on enjoying the season and the ones you love the most.
1. Make that Holiday To-Do List
Many people fly through the holidays, rushing from one thing to the next in hopes everything will be done in time. Instead, make your holiday to-do list — and make it as early as possible.
Once you’ve created one, look for the things you actually enjoy.
Do you love Black Friday shopping and scoring a deal? Great: keep it on the list. If not, try shopping online instead of in-store, supporting local businesses with less traffic, or giving experience gifts.
Do you enjoy holiday baking? Get in the kitchen and have at it! If holiday baking isn’t for you, support a local bakery by buying their already-prepared treats or make up big batches of a few basic holiday treats and store them in the freezer to pull out throughout the season.
One of the most important tricks to holiday balance is scheduling in time for the things that matter the most to you — maybe it’s caroling with family, baking cookies with the kids, or maybe it’s finding some time to read, which leads us to our next tip!
2. Put Together a Schedule
You know the holiday rush is coming: get-togethers with every part of your family, parties at school, parties with friends, and more. As soon as those dates start pouring in, put them on a calendar, whether you use a paper planner, a big calendar on the wall, or an app on your phone. Make note of anything you need to take to those events, from white elephant gifts to baked goods to share, and set aside time ahead of the event to make sure those things get done.
Is your schedule starting to look a little full? Start blocking off time to relax:
- Pick an evening to watch your favorite holiday movie with the family and mugs of hot cocoa. You can only catch some movies this time of year on TV, so don’t miss your favorite (or be like us and rent them whenever, no matter the season!).
- Take a family walk to check out the neighborhood’s holiday lights.
- Find a local holiday concert that plays your favorite songs.
- If you have kids, book a babysitter and plan a date night with your spouse or partner.
3. Keep Up with Healthy Eating When You Can
Healthy eating during the holidays can be challenging. Over-indulging on sweets and treats, though always in abundance this time of year, can leave you feeling sluggish, heavy, and short-tempered when you should be joyful and excited.
Try some of these strategies to help maintain balance and energy during the holidays:
- If asked to bring a dish, make it veggie focused instead of loaded with sugar and fat.
- Look for protein-rich vegetable and fruit-filled bars to snack on.
- Experiment with different ways to lighten up some of your favorite dishes — you might just discover a new favorite recipe.
- Save your splurge for the special treats you’re most looking forward to.
Most of all, the biggest tip we can give is to have fun and enjoy yourself. This special time of year brings family and friends together to celebrate with food, music, and thoughtful gifts.