Talk to anyone about the holidays, and underneath the anticipation and excitement lurks a bit of apprehension. Most of us look forward to the holiday season, but there is no denying that the list of responsibilities can be long and overwhelming. Here are seven tried-and-true tips for reducing holiday stress so you not only survive, but also truly enjoy this time of the year.
1. Start Early
Tackling big tasks early ensures you’re not rushing around at the last minute. Spend time making a to-do list, categorize each task as either time-sensitive and more flexible, and then assign due dates. Breaking down the tasks to one or two per week will make your schedule more manageable. Starting early also means you can buy gifts for friends and family online, leaving plenty of time for delivery!
Repeat after us: You don’t have to do it all. Give family members tasks to complete: present wrapping, food prep, decorating. Don’t worry if it’s not done perfectly – the goal is to give you some breathing room and include your loved ones in the preparations.
3. Fake It Until You Make It
To look refreshed and awake – even when you’re not – don’t neglect your skincare routine. Use Olay Oil Minimizing Toner to cleanse and remove impurities, and follow up with Olay Active Hydrating Facial Cream to get an immediate surge of active moisture that lasts for 48 hours. And don’t forget your eyes! Olay Revitalizing Eye Gel contains a cooling formula that helps fight visible signs of fatigue.
4. Practice Self-Care
Unfortunately, the holiday season is also cold and flu season. Remember to wash your hands frequently to avoid illness. If you do catch a bug, ease your symptoms with DayQuil and Nyquil Cold & Flu LiquiCaps and Vicks VapoRub*, and get as much rest as you can in between all the holiday prep.
5. Create a Few Traditions (but Make Them Easy!)
Family traditions are the bedrock of a happy holiday. Knowing there are certain things you do together as a family every year can create a sense of anticipation and stability. If your extended family travels to your home during the holidays, pick one or two of your favorite activities and elevate them to traditions to enjoy while everyone is in town. Choose simple but enjoyable activities that will appeal to everyone and won’t create extra work for you. A trip to the local ice-skating rink or a board-game tournament can be just the thing to let everyone unwind.
6. Keep It Simple
What are your most treasured holiday memories from when you were a kid? Most likely they have little to do with perfectly matching table decorations and much more to do with your mom’s signature holiday dish, your dad’s funny songs or your aunt’s snarky family stories. Avoid falling into the trap of setting your own (and others’) expectations too high, and concentrate on what really matters: time spent with the ones you love.
7. Practice Gratitude
The holidays are a chance to focus on the things we have – friends, family, a roof over our heads, food on our tables – rather than the things we don’t. By thinking about your good fortune and sharing these thoughts with others, you can shift your stressed-out perspective to one of mindfulness, peace and gratitude.
*When using DayQuil or NyQuil products, carefully read each label to ensure correct dosing. Use as directed. Keep out of reach of children.
What are your quick tips for a stress-free holiday season? Leave us a comment and share what works for you.