The holidays can be stressful time. You've already got lots on your plate, and now there are gifts to buy, family to entertain, meals to plan, and decorations to put up. Don't forget to put that smile on your face because this is the season of holiday cheer!
It can all be just a little too much to take in so now is the time to start planning. Here are my top five tips for surviving the holidays like a pro.
Plan Ahead--this goes for literally everything that has to be done. Plan for your spending. Budget what you'll plan to spend on gifts, food, and holiday decor. Plan your meals ahead of time and do the prep work as early in advance as you can. Freeze what you can until the day you'll be cooking. Plan your decor. What decorations are going up this year? What needs to be replaced? Planning head will keep you from being surprised later.
Boundaries--This is the season where we get asked to contribute (time and money) to everything. The school needs your help. The church needs you. Your family needs you. Decide (ahead of time) what you're willing to give to and stick with those boundaries. You only have so much energy. It's best to protect it or you'll reap the consequences and end up grumpy! Trust me--I've been there.
Moderation--Let's not throw out all the healthy habits and gains you've made through the year. Enjoy the parties, the treats, the adult beverages, but do it responsibly. Eat before you go to that party so you don't over indulge. For every adult beverage, drink a glass of water to rehydrate.
Be Realistic--I don't know any family that looks like a Norman Rockwell painting. Don't let your expectations get the better of you. Expect that crazy uncle to act crazy during your holiday dinner. Prepare your mindset to appreciate and even celebrate the differences that you have instead of becoming disappointed. Know who is going to be in attendance and make an effort to be realistic.
Enjoy Yourself--This is truly a time for celebration and joy. Try not to get caught up in the stress. Refer back to tip #1! Take time for yourself to rest and enjoy the time spent with loved ones. This may mean that you need to hire help. Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should. What can you hire out this holiday season that will allow you to farm out a task and give you more time? Time is your most precious commodity. Use it well!
There you have it friends! Remember that enjoying yourself means planning ahead. That's number ONE for a reason. You don't want to regret anything come January. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to some time off spent enjoying relationships, good food, and lots of laughter. Happy holidays!