December 2021 Managing Stress During the Holidays
This is supposed to by the happiest time of the year, but I think we have all experienced the feeling of being a bit stressed trying to make it all happen and make it perfect. You may be wondering how you will get all the gifts taken care of, parties organized, cards mailed, and kids activities taken care of in a short amount of time.
The holidays can bring joy and tears if you are not prepared for the stress it can cause. I vowed this year to make things a lot less stressed and wanted to share some of those tips with you. Here are a couple tips to help you make it through the holidays without kicking a snowman.
Here are a few tips that have helped me keep my stress low this season:
1. I started shopping in the summer for gifts. My goal was to get everyone items that were Made in Colorado. I went to the Farmer’s Markets and had fun finding great things for my family. I am usually done with all my gifts before Thanksgiving. What a great way to make sure you are not stretched for time and money during the last month of the year.
2. I put together a plan as to what type of gift I wanted for each family member that way I wouldn’t rush around at the last-minute wondering what to get my brother-in-law (who is impossible to buy for, so lucky him he gets Colorado made jerky and coffee!). I put together the dates when I needed to have everything to be able to ship it on time. Now all I must do is dig out my wrapping paper and put it all together for shipping.
3. Take a good hard look at what your holiday expectations are and what is possible. Write down what is possible and establish those as your realistic goals. Share it with your family and friends to let them know when you have any worries about meeting your expectations. For example, I would love to be able to put up icicle lights around the gables on my house. Each year I think that would be great and look wonderful, but the closer it gets to the season, the less time I find I can do it when the sun is out or someone else is home to make sure I don’t fall off the ladder. The sheer stress of hanging those darn hooks with the right precision just adds a whole new level of stress I really don’t need. So, instead, I put a couple of lights on the walk up to the house and a string of lighted garland around my front door. It still looks nice and elegant but doesn’t take a lot of hard work and I don’t even need a ladder!
4. Create some time just for yourself to reflect on what is really precious to you regarding the holidays. Take this time to reconnect with your spirit and enjoy yourself. Whether it is listening to your favorite holiday songs while drinking tea or coffee, getting a massage, splurging on a manicure or even watching your favorite movie without your family around. Create this special space just for you to relax and reconnect to fully enjoy the spirit of the season. You deserve to take time off during this stressful season to recharge and boost your happy meter.
5. Before you get together with family or friends think and prepare yourself for any difficult discussions or situations that may come up. Don’t forget your family and friends personalities will not change just because they are visiting and don’t expect them to be on their best behavior (although we can silently send that wish to Santa and see what happens). Don’t bring up any old quarrels or discussions from the past and if someone else does bring it up, see if you can change the subject and discreetly pull them aside to let them know that you are looking for a peaceful holiday gathering this year. What is in the past is done, we are creating a happier tomorrow by living in this joyous moment now.
6. Be creative and take charge of your own decorating this year. Don’t get pulled into the commercialism of the holidays. Be more genuine and plan free or low-cost activities to do. Ask the kids to help make decorations, string the lights and create some fun moments with them. The activities will be fun, spontaneous and could even turn into a new tradition. Don’t forget your family traditions and check in with your kids or grand kids and see if they would like to start a new tradition. Get those creative juices flowing through the family and you will have so much fun.
This planning and organizing really has made a difference in my stress levels. I feel confident that all is “good enough” and doesn’t need to be perfect.
What do you do during the holiday season to create some down time for yourself?
When I get stressed out, I tend to want to gravitate to a “comfort” food or drink around this holiday season. Sadly, though most choices are filled with unwanted calories and can throw my sugar intake into a tailspin for the rest of the week. I ran across a wonderful warm drink recipe for those cold, stressful wintry days that will help ease your mind and body as well as provide some other additional health benefits.
The Mocha Maca Matcha Recipe
To make this drink you need maca, matcha, raw cacao, coconut oil, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, almond milk and sweetener. That may seem like a lot of ingredients, but you can always make a double or triple batch without the coconut oil and refrigerate it.
Here are the great health benefits of these ingredients:
maca: naturally stimulating similar to ginseng and treats female hormonal imbalances.
matcha: great source of anti-oxidants and phytochemicals, less caffeine than coffee gives you a boost of energy without the jittery side effects .
raw cacao: has a wide variety of antioxidants, supports healthy heart functions, enhances physical and mental well being.
coconut oil: protects against infections and may protect against heart disease.
turmeric: anti-inflammatory and improves brain health.
cayenne: stimulates digestion, breaks up congestion and anti-fungal.
cinnamon: anti-inflammatory effects may help lower the risk of disease, can improve cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure and has a potent anti-diabetic effect.
· ½ teaspoon matcha powder
· ½ teaspoon maca powder
· 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
· 1 cup water or almond milk or a combination of the two
· 1 tablespoon coconut oil
· ½ teaspoon turmeric
· sprinkle of cinnamon and cayenne to taste
· sweetner to taste ( I used stevia but you can use maple syrup if you want)
1. Boil your water.
2. In a blender add your boiling water and all the ingredients.
3. Blend on high until frothy.
Pour and enjoy!
The recipe creator, Denise Wright uses half almond milk and half water but sometimes she just uses water and it tastes fine. For sweetener you can use pure maple syrup, stevia or whatever sweetener you like. Author: Denise Wright (MyLifeCookbook.com)
What is your favorite warm drink during the holidays?