So…the holiday season is upon us! Cue STRESS!! If you are a mom like me, you probably work, have at least one child (who is in school, which means there are probably after school activities), take care of the house, shop, cook and all of the other things that come with being a mom.
Okay. I know that is a lot and the holidays add in extra stress. I have a few tips to help you cope with the holiday stress.
Make A List…
As the song goes, make a list and check it twice. I know this sounds trivial, but having a list and being able to check off what you need to do that day or everyday makes things so much easier. This will give you a physical checklist of what needs to be done today or over the next couple weeks. Don’t forget to make a shopping list for the extra cooking and baking that you will be doing this holiday season. This will help you keep track of the stuff you don’t normally buy.
Oye! Next is cleaning! Take a deep breath and don’t freak out! I know that with the kids back in school, they bring home fun stuff from the germ factory aka school. Don’t stress too hard about that. I suggest finding or making a chore chart that helps you to keep track of what you have done and what needs to get done. With all of the other things swirling around in you head right now, things can get over looked. I try to deep clean one room a day during the cold and flu season. I also spray disinfectant spray around the house, especially on soft surfaces and surfaces that are touched often by everyone in the house, such as door knobs and light switches. I also know that airing out the house one “warmer” days helps too. Germs thrive in warm, moist areas. If you spray the house with disinfectant spray and open the windows for a few minutes, you and your family will get sick less often.
Baking! I am gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free BUT I still love to bake cookies, make candy, fudge and other holiday goodies for my friends and family.
In late November or early December, I make my cookie dough for my cut outs and drop cookies. Then I wrap them in plastic wrap two times and then in foil. On the foil, I put what kind of cookie it is, what the oven pre-heat temperature plus cooking time on there. This makes life so much easier the week before Christmas when I go to make my cookies. When it comes time to bake my cookies, I take the dough out of the freezer the night before and let the dough thaw in the fridge overnight.
I also make my quick breads ahead of time and wrap them up like I do the cookies and freeze them. By doing all of this ahead of time, it saves me so much time and stress about what I have to do. When it comes time to cut the quick breads, I let them thaw on the countertop for at least an hour before cutting. Also, freezing the quick breads helps to keep the bread moist and fresh.
When it comes down to my holiday baking, all I have to do is bake the cookies and make my candy and fudge. I used to do everything the week before Christmas, but found this was so much better.
Gift wrapping! AHHHHH!!! Haha! Just kidding!
My best tip is to wrap your presents and label them as you buy them. This will keep you from staying up until 3 a.m. the night before when the kids wake you up at half past the butt crack of dawn on Christmas morning!
I know this is something that sounds totally obvious, but you have no idea how many friends I have who are last minute wrappers and then they complain about being tired for the Christmas festivities the next day.
Lastly, don’t forget about yourself! If you feel worn out, take some time to recharge. It’s okay. I promise. Everyone needs a little time to breathe and relax.
I work at a place where I spend a lot of time on my feet. I’m usually standing for 6-10 hours a day. Yay. There are days when I get home and my feet and muscles are killing me. When this happens, I don’t reach for the pain reliever medicine yet. Instead, I draw a nice warm bath and add epsom salt and essential oils. I love using lavender to help me to relax.
Another thing I like to do every couple of weeks is to take my 8 year old daughter and spend a few dollars getting mommy and daughter manicures. There is a place near my house that will do a nice job for a reasonable price. It gives me time to spend with my daughter and time to just relax and let someone else take care of me for a little while.
I hope that these tips help you to have a less stressful holiday! I love the holidays, but if you don’t stay ahead of things, it does get overwhelming and then they aren’t as fun. Since I started doing this a few years ago, holidays have been much more relaxing and fun!
Happy holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Yule! Happy what ever it is that you celebrate!