by Kassandra Lamb
This is a joyous time of year, but it is also the most stressful time of year for many of us. Especially for those who are trying to make Christmas happen for their families.
Here are a few helpful hints on how to keep the stress manageable and the joy optimal.
1. Write It Down.
Santa isn’t the only one who should be making a list and checking twice.
This is actually 3 tips in one. First, making a list of everything that needs to be done will keep you from forgetting something that might then become a last-minute crisis/super stressor.
Second, you get the list out of your head and onto paper so you don’t have to stress yourself with trying to remember everything.
And third, it is very satisfying to physically scratch things off a list. Sometimes I put things on there that I’ve already done, so I can immediately scratch them off again. 😀
2. Keep It Simple.
Are there things you do for Christmas that nobody really cares about, maybe not even you?
A few years ago, during a stressful time for my family, we opted for a cold buffet instead of a big Christmas dinner. I was amazed at how little I missed the fancy meal (and all the prep, not at all).
We made the cold buffet a new tradition. We still have special things to eat (my DIL makes awesome cranberry chicken salad), but it can all be prepared a day or two in advance. Christmas Day, we open presents and enjoy each others’ company and spend very little time in the kitchen.
3. Pace Yourself.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. If you try to do too much in one day you will wear yourself out, and be tired and grouchy the next day.
If you want to be super-organized, you could mark the day you plan to do certain things on your list. Then on any given day, you are only stressing about that day’s chores.
Also this time of year, getting too fatigued can lead to illness, with all the nasty flu and cold viruses floating around.
Getting sick is definitely not going to help! Which brings us to…
4. Take Care of Yourself.
Schedule proper rest, eating and some exercise into your days.
My mother used to wear herself down to the nub by Christmas Eve. My brother and I would hide in our rooms as much as possible. She was so exhausted and cranky, if we landed on her radar, who knew what would happen?
By the next day, she was much better and we always had a great Christmas, but much of what she had done to prepare for it wasn’t really what made it special for us.
The specialness of Christmas came from having a whole day of relaxation and freedom to play and undivided attention from the adults in the family. Everybody was in a great mood and we had a blast.
Oh, and there were new toys, of course.
5. There Is No Report Card!
Christmas should not be a contest or a performance for which we receive a grade. If you have someone in your life who tends to be that judgmental, you have my permission to uninvite them for Christmas.
If that’s not an option, then practice some lines you can fire back if they comment or even just glare at you judgmentally.
Something like “My house may not be perfect but my kids are happy.”
Or maybe “What would Jesus do?” to remind them that judging is definitely not in the spirit of the season.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
Our blog will be on hiatus until January 3rd, at which point we have a BIG surprise for you. Stay tuned for an awesome 2017 giveaway!!
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She is the author of the Kate Huntington psychological suspense series, set in her native Maryland, and a new series, the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries, set in Central Florida.
We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week, usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.
Please follow us so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun! (We do not lend, sell nor otherwise bend, spindle or mutilate followers’ e-mail addresses. 🙂 )