,

Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

tips-for-a-stress-free-holiday-season-allison-risselThe holidays are supposed to be filled with fun and festive joy! But if you find yourself waiting in line just to get great gifts for your loved ones, spending countless hours wrapping gifts or slaving away over a hot stove every Christmas, the “fun” part can go out the window.

These 4 simple strategies will cut the crazy out of Christmas and keep you zen throughout the holiday season.

Easy decorations

Most people spend extra effort to decorate their homes during the holiday season. But if you find yourself struggling to keep up with all the tasks that need to be done, opt for simple decorations.

You can hang a Christmas wreath on your front door, add some garlands on the stairs or top your dining table with a festive holiday centrepiece. These simple decors will still give your home a festive feel without having to try so hard. We had our good friends come over and help us set up and decorate our Christmas tree! Not only was the task more manageable, we had A LOT of fun laughing and sharing holiday stories.

Keep up with your yoga practice

Have you ever regretted going to a yoga class? Although it may seem that you don’t have time to get it all done, continuing with your yoga practice will help bring clarity and sanity during this stressful time.

No studio near you? No problem! Lie down on your back, place one had on your belly and the other on your heart. Close your eyes and count your breaths. Inhale 1. Exhale 1. Inhale 2. Exhale 2. Count to 30 without any mind interruptions. Open your eyes and feel refreshed!

Ask for help

Yes, it’s your turn to host the family get-together this year. But that doesn’t mean you have to do all the cooking and cleaning by yourself. Host a pot-luck event and ask your guests to bring something that they can share with everyone. Assign a specific dish to each attendee to avoid serving 5 different variations of pie or salad.  At the very least, ask for help cleaning the kitchen. I always let my family know they’ll be helping clean BEFORE they eat their meals. That way no one can complain they’re “too full to help.”  😉

**BONUS:** Use festive paper plates to make after-dinner cleaning easy while adding extra easy decorations.

Unplug

Christmas is supposed to be spent with the family. On this day, consider turning off your smart phone so you won’t be tempted to check your emails or answer calls that are work-related. Studies suggest that constant email alerts and phone buzzes can contribute to stress. Focus your energy on enjoying the people around you. Those emails can wait.