Here are a few little tips gathered from friends and those more relaxed than I to help keep us from loosing our heads this holiday season.
#1: When you feel overwhelmed just say NO to extra obligations. It can be hard to turn down that one extra invite but when you're stressing about a lack of time/funds its really starts to tay the enjoyment out of your holiday season. So, when Great Aunt Jill invites you to the Cribbage Ladies Christmas Brunch take a step back, breath, and ask yourself how this event fits in with your schedule and whether it will add or detract from your holiday good cheer.
#2 Make pot luck items ahead of time. While you're in the kitchen preparing your famous mini meatballs,throw a batch of cookies (or my personal favorite - brownies!) into the oven. Not only are they delicious but they keep well incase you do decide to join Great Aunt Jill at her shindig. Local wisdom states that it's better to dedicate a day (or two) to cooking while dancing to christmas carols and sipping a glass of wine than trying to make a batch of cookies at 3am with a holiday hangover because you forgot that you're supposed to be the cookie fairy at your in-laws get-together. (unconfirmed true story)
#3 Make time for YOU! Whether it's just 10 minutes or an hour make sure to find time everyday to do something for yourself. Afterall many of us are draining our vacation days during this time of year. Ideas: a hot relaxing bath (a distant memory for those of us with young children), a walk, meditate, a massage perhaps. Just do something that relaxes you and doesn't involve staring at a blank wall.
#4 Exercise! Jog, play with a few yoga poses, do some jumping jacks. Combine #3 and #4 and get a massage. All of these things get the blood moving and your metabolism off the couch to burn calories (you forgot about the cookies too didn't you) and release those lovely feel good hormones saratonin and dopamine. They are the sweet sweet chemical who make you feel relaxed and that all is right with the world.
So there you have it. My 4 little suggestions on how to survive the holidays without loosing your mind.
Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah.