Easy Ways to Stay Stress-Free Through the Holidays

November 2013
The holiday season is here….let the stress begin!
Every year I have Thanksgiving in my home. Not only am I preparing for the “big dinner,” but I also have to get my home ready for out-of-state guests that stay at my house through the holidays. Add Christmas shopping on top of that and my stress level is at its max! 
The holiday season always brings fun times, new memories, and cherished family time, but if you are not prepared ahead of time, it can get very stressful. The key is to try and keep a good balance. This way you can also relax and enjoy the holidays too.
The first step in creating a balance is planning. Making a check sheet to use as a guideline will ensure that you leave nothing overlooked. The check sheets I make for myself are the only things that get me through the hustle and bustle of the busy season. I make a checklist for each main task I am responsible for, such as Thanksgiving dinner, house guests, and a “tentative” wish list for my three children for Christmas.
The next step towards a good balance is preparing. Give yourself the proper amount of time that you need to accomplish each task. Will you be entertaining mature house guests who have to get around with the use of a cane or walker? Providing easy mobility and access to bedroom and bathrooms should be a task on your house guest checklist. 
Next, put your plans into action. Take your check list and start completing your tasks. Buy non-perishable items for Thanksgiving dinner ahead of time. Stock up on ingredients needed for your homemade cleaning products, like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Buy an assortment of disinfecting essential oils, such as tea tree and eucalyptus oil for cleaning and freshening your indoor air. Wash bedding and prepare the guest bedroom and bathroom.
Lastly, and most importantly, take time for you. Hosting a holiday dinner, preparing for house guests, and shopping for the holidays can quickly wear you down. Don’t forget to schedule some “me” time on your check list. Stick to your normal routine as much as possible. Be sure to sleep enough, eat a healthy diet, drink water and exercise. Things go much smoother when you are feeling your best! 
Getting through the holiday season does not have to be an overwhelming task when considerate planning is put into action beforehand. Keeping a good balance is the key to having a relaxing and joyous holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!
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