by Kassandra Lamb ~ Another oldie but a goodie. I promise to have some new stuff in the next week or two.
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.
So here are 5 tips to reduce stress during the holidays.
1. Write It Down.
Santa isn’t the only one who should be making a list and checking it 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. 😀
Getting organized with lists is a great way to reduce stress during the holidays.
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 getting too fatigued can lead to illness (especially this year!)
Getting sick is definitely not going to help! Which brings us to…
4. Take Care of Yourself.
Schedule in proper rest, eating and some exercise. And take relaxation breaks throughout the day. Stop and savor what you’ve accomplished instead of focusing on what still needs to be done.
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.
What are your favorite ways to reduce stress during the holidays?
And my new release is $2.99 during Preorder; goes up after its release on 12/13/21.
(Note: This series is a spinoff from the Kate Huntington Mysteries. Judith Anderson was the police lieutenant in that series. Kass has the collection of Books 1-5 of the Kate books on sale right now, for 99 cents!)
Judith Anderson’s no-nonsense attitude and confidence served her well in her climb to homicide lieutenant in the Baltimore County PD, but that confidence is shaken when she finds herself one step behind a serial killer—just eight days into her new job as Chief of Police in a small Florida city.
The first victim, a female college student, may be a case of wrong place, wrong time. But the bodies keep coming, with a mishmash of MOs, and the murders may be linked to various cases in nearby Jacksonville.
While Judith assumed the CoP job would be challenging, she’s finding it harder than she imagined to establish her authority without alienating and be more hands-on without micro-managing. Plus, evidence is staking up that there’s a leak in her department.
Who can she trust? If she makes the wrong assumption, the wrong decision, it may be her last. In a race to save lives, she’ll draw on every talent and instinct that made her a star in Baltimore. But will that be enough this time?
Fans of JA Jance’s Sheriff Joanna Brady and JD Robb’s Eve Dallas will love this new female cop on the scene!
AVAILABLE for PREORDER NOW on:
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She is the author of the Kate Huntington psychological mysteries, set in her native Maryland, and the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries, set in Central Florida. She also writes romantic suspense under the pen name of Jessica Dale.
Misterio press produces an array of quality crime fiction. We post here twice a month, usually on Tuesdays, to alert you to new releases, to entertain, and to inform.
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