They say the holiday season is the most joyful time of the year, but as many of us know, the holidays come with busy schedules, high stress and a never ending to-do list. In an effort to host the perfect holiday dinner, we find ourselves pushing our own priorities to the wayside as our houses fill with family members and our tables fill with food.
Whether you drew the short straw this year and are having holiday festivities at your house or you are hostess extraordinaire and do every holiday at your house every year, the responsibility does not come with out pressure. We've got the guide to help you manage your stress (and your family) this holiday season!
How Do I Handle Holiday Stress?
Set Clear Expectations
The key to handling holiday stress is making sure you don't keep your thoughts and needs to yourself. Your family, no matter how close, can't read your mind! If your kitchen can't handle a multiple course meal, ask your guests to bring a side, salad or dessert while you handle the main dish. If you don't have enough beds for everyone who's traveling far, let your family know the details of hotels that are nearby. We often find ourselves bending over backwards to accommodate visitors, but more than likely your family will just be happy to see and spend time with you and honesty up front will help everyone stay stress and tension free so you can enjoy the company.
Make A Plan
Another way to beat the holiday stress is by planning ahead. Whether your dining room table is too small for a large dinner party and you need a few extra chairs or you need to re-arrange the furniture to accommodate a walker or wheelchair, making arrangements early helps you avoid last minute chaos when your guests start to arrive.
The same can be said if you have a great aunt who likes to toss not-so-subtle insults your direction or a cousin who brings up your high-school ex. It's easy to let comments from family, who know you best, get under your skin. When you can anticipate what may amp up your temper, you can also prepare a response that will keep the holiday celebration stress-free.
Plan A Recovery Time
The best way to fight holiday stress is to acknowledge that it will be there. As the host, be sure that you plan some time for yourself to recover between or after the major events. Whether you need a few minutes away from the crowd to check-in with your friends or want to turn in early instead of staying up half the night to reminisce, do it! You owe it to yourself to recuperate so that you can enjoy the time that you are with your guests.
Do Less, Enjoy More
Last, but not least, managing holiday stress can be as easy as just not stressing. Your family wants to enjoy your company, they aren't concerned with how clean your house is or how many different desserts you prepared. So, don't worry about it. Do what you would normally do for the people who live in your house every day and enjoy the family that has come to visit you.
With all that the holidays bring, it's important to take the time to appreciate the family and friends who make them so special. Handling stress during the holidays is not an easy task, especially when your everyday life is also moving at warp speed. With our guide to managing holiday stress, you can make yourself a priority while truly enjoy your holiday season with your family.