Advertisement

12 Tips to Tame the Holiday Circus


Are holiday traditions, parties, volunteer commitments and shopping turning you into a frenzied ringmaster of a runaway circus train? For your sanity and for your health, put the brakes on the holiday rush. Here's how.

  1. Make a “Not-to-Do” List. Consciously leave a few activities off the program this year. Ellie Griffin, a feminine vitality coach, says this is one of her favorite ways to reduce holiday stress. “I love having my clients do this exercise because it makes them realize how much of what they do doesn’t have an effect on the big picture of their lives,” she says.
  2. End a Tradition. Let go of rituals that are more work than fun or are no longer meaningful. Attempting to turn the holiday season into the greatest show on earth, could put your health at risk. According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress can weaken your immune system making it harder to recover from illness, and can cause heart disease, obesity and depression. 
  3. Catch Your ZZZs. You perform better when you are well-rested. Strive for seven to eight hours of sleep, which can help you cope better with stress. “Poor sleep habits keep you jittery, irritable, and feeling like you’re just dragging yourself around,” says Rosalie Moscoe, author of Frazzled, Hurried Woman! Your Stress Relief Guide to Thriving...Not Merely Surviving.
  4. Choreograph the Chaos. Organize your shopping trips. Ask for help from your significant other. When possible, buy gifts whenever you are already out running errands. Make shipping a breeze by purchasing some gifts online. After pounding the pavement, reward yourself with dinner out, pizza delivery, or a glass of wine by a cozy fire. 
  5. Clown Around. During the holiday rush, try not to schedule every free moment. “By pursuing pleasure in her life, a woman cannot only enjoy a more fulfilling life, but in the process increase production of oxytocin, a hormone crucial to lowering stress hormones,” Griffin says. Go through your calendar and block out 15 to 30 minutes each day to do something just for your personal enjoyment, like a manicure, lunch with a friend, yoga, a nap, or reading a book. 
  6. Juggle Less. Planning, cooking, cleaning, and entertaining can test even the most talented acrobat. Host a light-hearted appetizer party instead of a serious dinner soiree. Choose menu items that can be prepared ahead of time, or have the event catered to make it easier for you to enjoy the festivities along with your guests. 
  7. Rely on Your Safety Net. “Ask for help! Get your family to help with cleaning up at home. Or, if you can, hire a cleaning person,” Moscoe says. “Take a break, be kind to yourself. There will always be something to finish–that's life!” For casual parties, prepare the main dish and ask your friends if they can bring side items or desserts. 
  8. Revel in the Moment. Duck out of the buzzing fluorescent lights and long lines by taking an evening stroll to breathe in the cool December air. Admire the holiday lights illuminating the streets, and allow the movement to calm your mind without further stressing your body.
  9. Feed Yourself Right. Hunger and exhaustion can bring out the tiger in anyone. Eat wholesome, good mood foods with protein for energy. “Don’t bring extra cookies or chocolate into the house in advance of the holidays,” Moscoe says. “This will make you cranky, tired and cause fluctuations in blood sugar.”
  10. Plan for Surprises. Keep tricks up your sleeve for managing those last-minute gift exchanges. While running errands, purchase small gifts that you can stash. And, go ahead and store those extra cookies in the freezer for drop-in visitors.
  11. Simplify Decor. Swap time-consuming and expensive lights and holiday cartoon characters for homemade decorations. Try making luminaries with your kids. Draw a star or tree on a lunch-size paper bag. Punch holes into the design and fill the bag with sand. Light the bags with battery-charged tea lights. 
  12. Focus on the Magic. Carefully consider what makes the holidays special for you and your family. Ask your kids, too. Their answers may surprise you. Perhaps they would like to try building gingerbread houses this year or want to spend a toasty evening in their pajamas drinking hot chocolate and watching holiday specials. 

Most of all, resolve to bring your holidays from over the top to just right for you. Even one small change can make all the difference between anxiously counting the days until the show is over to living in the moment, celebrating more peace and joy with your family this season. ■

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

01 Dec 2018


By Christa Melnyk Hines

Recent Articles more articles

The Moment I Became a Mom

in Family Life, Amy Delaney

There are many milestones in the international adoption process–home study completion, being matched with your child, receiving updates, getting the travel call. However, the single biggest milestone for me was never logged on a calendar, even though

Make Time For Yourself

in Amelia Laprairie

Being a mom is a roller coaster of emotions. There’s happiness while watching the little ones grow, followed by my sadness because of the realization of how fast it happens. There’s anticipation of wanting them to reach milestones, followed by the ne

Sleepaway for Mama: Leaving My Daughters Overnight for the First Time

in Things To Do, Family Life, Mari Walker

In more than seven and a half years of parenting, I had never left my children overnight until recently. Other than her recent trip to pony camp, the only time I was away from my older daughter was when my younger daughter was born. I stayed in the h

Sure Signs You’re a Mom to School-Aged Children

in Family Life, Amy Delaney, School

It’s August–do you know where your school supply list is?! This school year snuck up on us like no other. We moved in May and our summer was literally turned upside down, and now it’s August and school is upon us. As I entered the scramble to prepare

Featured Listings more listings

Central Private School

in Private Schools

Central Private is committed to preparing students for the future in a safe, nurturing Christian environment in which students are encouraged to grow, share, and learn with a faculty dedicated to academic excellence.

SipEcup225

SipEcup225

in Party Venues

SipEcup225 offers an indoor playland for party guests to enjoy at your child's parties; free play; an expansive arcade; mechanical ride on cars; ski ball; Mario Kart; air hockey; pool table; giant Jenga; giant Connect Four; merry go round; inflatable

Party Time

Party Time

in Party Supplies

When you're looking for party supplies, you'll want to visit Party Time for all of your needs. They provide party packs, birthday supplies, costumes, holiday decor, decorating classes, and specialty baking needs for any occasion.

St. Luke's Episcopal School

in Private Schools

St. Luke's Episcopal School offers a challenging curriculum that encourages learning, independent thinking and spiritual formation in preschool through 8th grade with optimal teacher-to-student ratios.

Advertisement
Newsletter