The holidays can be hectic. Between cooking, shopping, decorating, and preparing for guests, the season can be quite overwhelming. But, there are some things you can do now to prepare and take some of the pressure off when the holidays finally come around. In this article, we will discuss steps you can take now to make the holidays a more joyful experience.
10 Steps To A Less Stressful Holiday Season
1) Be like Santa and start with a list
Make a list of what needs to be done. This will help you stay organized and on track as you prepare for the holidays. You may actually want a series of lists such as:
• a shopping list for friends and family,
• a list of who will receive a holiday card,
• a list of recipes for any dinners or parties you will be hosting,
• a list of your children’s holiday performances and class parties,
• and a list of ways you can still practice self-care at this hectic time of year.
Use the iStratus folder file cabinet feature to keep all of these lists in one place.
2) Start shopping early
Shopping early will help you avoid the last-minute rush, the traffic that always comes with the holiday season, and the stress that often comes with holiday shopping. Better yet, it will ensure you are able to get the items on your list before they are all sold out. Many stores are already reporting that they are going to be lower on items this holiday season.
3) Schedule a time to decorate your home
By adding your holiday decorating to your calendar, you may find it easier to enlist the help of your family. Remember to add your list of decorations to your calendar as well. This will ensure that you don’t leave your favorite ornaments in storage only to find them as you are packing up and putting decorations away again.
Another tip that will save you trouble in the future is to toss any of the lights that are not working this year so you don’t have the aggravation of testing them all over again next year.
4) Plan your holiday menus
Planning your holiday menus will allow you to shop for ingredients ahead of time and make any necessary preparations in advance. In addition, knowing what you want to serve will make it easier to assign some of the meals to friends and family who ask to bring something. Keep in mind that you may need to plan for parties as well as dinners and brunches.
5) Get ready for guests
Prepare your guest room or space in advance. Strip the sheets and wash them a few weeks before your guests arrive. Have your children dust the room. Add some decorative touches and some creature comforts such as water glasses for the bedside table. Doing these things now will make things more comfortable for your guests and make your life easier as well.
6) Wrap a little at a time
Start wrapping gifts early. One of the easiest ways to avoid the last-minute rush of the holiday season is to wrap each gift as you get it. Doing this will save you time and stress later on and may even give you a sense of accomplishment as you see the wrapped gifts pile up.
7) Schedule your travel
Planning any holiday travel in advance will help you avoid any last-minute complications or stresses. Consider the smaller day trips you are likely to take as well. Will you spend a day driving to a tree farm to cut down your tree? Will your Aunt Louise host a party in a neighboring state? These trips can add stress to a busy season if you don’t account for them in your schedule.
8) Practice self-care
We alluded to this earlier, but it is important to take some time for yourself. With all the preparations, it’s important to find time to relax and enjoy the holidays as well. Make sure you add your self-care to your schedule so you don’t neglect yourself during this busy season.
9) Schedule an ending
As important as it was to schedule your seasonal decorating, it is equally important to schedule a time to pack the decorations back up and get your home in order for the new year. Again, this will give you the opportunity to enlist the help of your family instead of taking the task on yourself.
10) And finally, enjoy the holidays!
One of the benefits of being organized and planning ahead is that you avoid the stress of the season and can actually enjoy the holidays. It’s important to be mindful of what will make a joyful holiday for you. Is it certain music? A specific food? Avoiding a particular family member or dynamic. Remember the holidays only come around once a year, so make sure to savor every moment.