Talk to any mum about the holidays, and underneath the anticipation and excitement, there 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. So here are seven tried and true tips to not only survive, but also really enjoy this holiday season.
Starting early, especially when it comes to the big tasks, can ensure that come close to holiday time you are not rushing around needlessly. Make a list of tasks and split them into time-sensitive and more flexible tasks. Then build your list, with dates next to each item. Breaking down the tasks to one or two per week on the buildup to the holidays will keep everything manageable. Starting early also means you can do the bulk of your present-shopping online, leaving plenty of time for delivery!
Not everything has to be done by you. People love helping, in fact helping others brings us together and helps us bond. Give people tasks that they are good at (your 14-year-old daughter might be great at wrapping presents, while your 12-year-old son might be able to help with food preparation) and tell them why you chose them. Don’t worry if it’s not done perfectly: we’re not aiming for perfection, but enjoyment and connection with the ones we love.
Keep your vital routines
Amidst the list of things you have to do, make sure you schedule some time for yourself. Start every day with a walk, if that’s what you’re used to, and try and squeeze in your Pilates class. Don’t forget your nighttime regime, and use a hard-working night cream, like the Olay Regenerist 3 Point Age-Defying Night Cream to wake up looking refreshed and ready to tackle the next day, every day.
Create a few traditions (... but make them easy!)
Family traditions are the bedrock of a happy holiday: knowing that there are certain things that you do together, as a family, every year can create a sense of anticipation and stability. Pick one or two of your favourite family activities and elevate them to family traditions! Choose simple, but enjoyable activities, that will appeal to everyone and will not create extra work for you. A post-lunch walk, or a family board-game tournament can be just the thing that everyone needs to unwind.
Keep expectations realistic
Disappointment and stress can appear when our expectations are not met. Avoid falling into the trap of setting your own (and others’) expectations too high and try and do fewer things better. Linked to that...
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...Keep it simple
What are your most treasured memories of family holidays from when you were a kid? Most likely they have little to do with perfectly matching table decorations and more to do with your mum’s special recipe, your dad’s funny singing or your aunt Mabel’s family stories. Keep things simple and concentrate on what really matters.
The holidays are a chance to think about all the good things that we have, how fortunate we are to have a roof over our head, our family around us and food on the table. Practising gratitude is something that can be done easily for example by counting our blessings when we sit at the dinner table. By thinking about our good fortune and sharing these thoughts with others we can shift our perspective and transform our holiday to the magical time that it should be!
What are your tried and tested tips for a stress-free holiday season? Leave us a comment and share what works for you at this time of year!