The countdown to Christmas seems to start on December 26. Do you feel it too? The rat race begins as the last one ended!
I secretly cringe when the first person, round about September starts giving me the Christmas countdown. As if the pressure to get through the holidays with my sanity isn’t enough, I have to start thinking about it in September?!
Don’t get me wrong — I love the holidays just as much as the next person — but I truly do not enjoy the holiday stress that ensues. Dare I even say it’s toxic? The feelings of guilt for not being able to fit it all in. The frustration of busy schedules and being pulled in every direction. People to please, gifts to buy, money running tight, and the list goes on.
Does it really have to be this way? Can we raise up a revolution of people who will say, I refuse to get sucked in to the holiday chaos? I’m going to enjoy life with my family and take things way more relaxed. I’m going to be intentional about my time and commitments around the holidays and really peel off the holiday stress naturally and start to enjoy my life and my family from November through December.
If you’re with me — and I hope you are — then let’s talk about how we’re gonna accomplish this goal of navigating the holiday stress with ease.
Dare I say it?
The first things we need to do is…
But there’re Christmas programs, and cookie exchanges. Parties and shopping sprees. Meals to prepare, gifts to buy (and wrap — oh how I detest wrapping!). “What do you want me to pare down on?,” you ask. Everything! Something! In order to cope with the holiday stress naturally, you need to eliminate it. The first and best way you can do that is by paring down. You must choose your holiday activities carefully or they will run you.
You won’t have time to sip hot tea by the fire and chatter with your family. You’ll be too busy running from crazy holiday even to crazy holiday event. Let me in on a powerful little secret, the word “NO!” is very effective! It’s ok to say no and not feeling like you have to participate in everything. Choose only those things that will make your holidays full of joy.
By the way, the pare down idea works well with gifts too. You don’t need to buy your kids a ton of gifts in order for them to be happy.
Lower Your Expectations
There’s nothing like the holidays to make me feel like I’m falling short. There are a million and one things that I wanna do and can’t because of time or money. Christmas crafts, matching outfits, making cookies, creating lovely memories for my kids…before I know it, I’m stressed out beyond belief. The holidays aren’t fun anymore, and the kids I’m trying to make fun memories for will only remember a stressed out and frustrated mom.
I don’t want that at all and I’m sure you don’t either. The solution is lowering your expectations. Make cookies with your kids, but don’t expect it to go smoothly. In fact, expect there will be messes and challenges. Just enjoy the process. Don’t agree to participate in every holiday activity. Remind yourself that everything you do surrounding the holidays doesn’t have to be perfect.
Do Something Non Holiday Related
There’s a long stretch in the fall until around the new year that is filled with holiday hustle and bustle. It gets especially crazy from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. Sometimes you need a break from the holidays. Find something enjoyable to do that doesn’t involve the holidays and take your mind off of the stress for just a little bit. You can come back to decorating your house soon. Just give yourself an afternoon off
Take a Bath
There’s something about soaking in a tub that melts away the stress. Consider planning a few nights here and there throughout the holidays to soak in the tub and think about nothing. It’s a very natural way to shed the holiday stress. Add epsom salts to your bath for a relaxing mineral soak. Light some soy candles and play soft music. Take the time to relax and don’t think about your holiday task list. It’ll be there waiting for you when you’re finished.
Use These Natural Products to Relax
When you’re stressed from all the holiday business, there are a few natural products you can use to help you relax. Here are a few of my favorites:
- CBD Oil – It’s amazing for helping your relax, calm down, and soothe away the stress. CBD has a very calming affect, yet it doesn’t make you tired. Try it to cope with the holiday stress.
- Lavender Essential Oil – Diffuse lavender to create a calming effect. Additionally, you can put a small drop in the palm of your hand and cup it over your mouth and nose and inhale deeply, relaxing your body with each inhalation. For an on-the-go solution, place several drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball and store it in a ziplock bag. When you feel stressed while out and about, pull it out of your purse and breathe it in.
- Magnesium – This mineral has a relaxing and calming affect. You can find it in a powdered form, supplements, or even a spray. I prefer the magnesium spray so I can spray it on my neck, my wrists, and even the bottoms of my feet.
- DIY Stress Reliever Tea – When you really need something soothing and relaxing, this will do the trick! Besides, nothing says relax like a hot cup of tea!
- Stress Relieving Herbs – Certain herbs can be a powerful tool in supporting the body and creating the ability to better cope with stress. An herbal tincture is a great way to get the benefits of these stress relieving herbs.
This holiday season, if you find yourself running wildly out of control, stop and use these tips to gain control over the stress and realize that you don’t have to feel like the holidays are nothing more than chaos.