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5 Tips To Have A Stress-Less Christmas
Okay, is a completely stress-free holiday even a possibility for most of us??
No, probably not...
However, making choices that result in LESS stress is a reality we can all aim for.
So how do we do that??
Well, I'm sure there are tons, but here's my TOP FIVE PICKS from my own journey.
In no particular order...
(AND DON'T MISS OUR MEGA SUPER DUPER ROUND UP AT THE END!)
1) Do not, I stress NOT, overschedule the calendar.
Everyone does, but if you have young children, just jot "MELTDOWNS" on the calendar if you don't plan for some down time in before & after major activities.
I aim for one big event a day if I can help it. Two if necessary, but then I let the host know I can only stay an hour or two before having to leave.
Even scheduling in a family day sometime during the holidays (with nothing else planned but rest time) is a treasure you'll be thankful for, if you can swing it.
2) Eat (somewhat) healthy.
Okay, so let's be honest here, we're ALL going to have a treat or two (or more...), but we don't have to make every meal a four-course spread with dessert included!
Healthy eating can become one of our tools in staying healthy & experiencing less stress.
I focus on our ensuring our meals at home are as healthy as possible, so that when we're out stress as much witnessing our kids consuming extra treats. The main concern is that with more junk food consumed, the more likely it is that there will be illness in the home.
As a Nutritionist, I'd say focus on--> limiting sugar, eating tons of veggies daily, and having adequate protein each meal (to avoid sugar crashes & intense cravings when you hit those parties!)
3) Aim for adequate sleep.
Sleep is what is going to refuel your body, and allow it to handle any extra pressure the holiday season may bring. It also allows the body (& mind) to recharge from any stress you may have experienced during the day, and be ready for the next one.
In this season, I haven't been getting many full nights without interruptions (baby, toddler, someone up needing attention, etc.), so I also fill up my 'sleep debt' when dad is home on the weekends (i.e. take naps where you can!)
4) Focus on relationships over "busyness".
Five years from now you won't be fondly reminiscing on all the presents, the stressed out shopping treks, the overeating, or your over committed schedule. In fact, those things might be mini trauma points that you'd rather block out ;)
The one where you saw one of your relatives & actually got to have a little heart-to-heart sharing with one another. The late night games' night spent laughing & giggling with your friends. The special church gathering where you listened to an inspiring message about giving, and afterward was able to share thoughts & 'break bread' with a loved one.
Make time on your agenda for relationship.
Now, I do realize that some get togethers, and unfortunately some relationships for that matter, have the potential to be very stressful encounters. Limit those ones!
Instead, go meet with those 'old' friends from high school you've been forever meaning to have lunch with, but keep finding excuses. Call up a close friend who's life has become as crazy as yours. Plan a date night with your spouse, or even one of your children.
In other words, be intentional.
5) Focus on the true meaning of CHRISTmas: Christ's Hope.
The focus of Christmas is God's love for us.
Undeserving of it at even the best of times.
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.."
1 Timothy 1:15b
We were, the whole lot of us, drowning in our own selfishness & all the curses
of sin's holds. I know I certainly was.
And He still reaches out His Hands to us today.
When we focus on that alone, we are able to let go of much of the "other" stuff...the stress & the worries that keep us up at night.
I have been trying to develop a new habit as of late to help avoid stress, or at least lessen its load.
I have taking some time (almost) every morning, before I start my day, to read a bit of a devotional book, and then some scripture. Lastly, I take time to pray about anything AND everything that has been weighing on my heart over the past day OR hour OR even minute....
It really has helped me to experience more peace throughout the day :)
Lastly, I have to add in, that although we aim for "stress-less" living, in actuality events can & will occur that we have absolutely ZERO control over.
In those times, it's important that we regroup & get some outside support.
I wanted to add that, because I know I've experienced a few heart breaking Christmas' over the years, and please know that you not alone! Someone right now is going through what you are going through, and you can find help.
So, what are your stress reducing tips for the holidays?
This Year's MEGA HUGE Christmas FUN Round Up!!!!
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