1. SEEK A FRESH PERSPECTIVE!
Make a change. Take one task that drives you crazy during the holidays and tackle it in a new way. A fresh approach just might make a difference. For example, if you dread having to send out holiday cards, enlist your husband and split the list.
2. BE SATISFIED WITH “GOOD ENOUGH.”
“Don’t always go for bigger and better,” when planning your holiday, advises Loretta LaRoche, author of Life Is Not a Stress Rehearsal. “Does the tree have to be bussed in from the hinterlands of Alaska?” she quips. “Isn’t a little bush enough?”
3. THROW AWAY YOUR SHOPPING LIST!
Forgo the stress of shopping for family members in favor of sharing special moments and experiences. Treat loved ones to a holiday show, for example, or breakfast at a fancy hotel. “Instead of having a package to rip open, share a wonderful day together.
4. SMELL SOME LEMONS.
Barreling through throngs of mall shoppers on the hunt for a last-minute gift? Step up to the department store perfume counter, peruse the testers and dab on a lemony fragrance. Lemon scents instantly boost your mood.
5. STOCK UP ON GIFT WRAPPING SUPPLIES.
Buy multiples of tape, extra gift tags and more wrapping paper than you think you’ll need. Nothing is more frustrating than running out of supplies with the job half done, and you can always save the leftovers for next year.
6. DON’T HESITATE TO ASK FOR HELP.
In fact, guests prefer to take on some small tasks, instead of standing around while you attempt to do everything yourself. Ask an older relative if he’d mind greeting guests at the door. Recruit teens to take coats or offer fruit juice. Kids may direct guests to the buffet table or offer hors d’oeuvres.
7. STICK WITH THE TRIED AND TRUE.
A special gathering is not the time to experiment with a new recipe. “Just do what you know how to do and can do well,” everyone loves mashed potatoes so include them on menu, especially if it’s a family favourite. Keep the table setting simple, adding a seasonal touch with a single Christmas centerpiece and festive napkins. “Focus on the fellowship of the people you’re gathering with, and don’t stress out on the preparations and menu.”
8. KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO.
Try saying yes to only meaningful events that focus on the holiday and bring the whole family together. Can’t say no? Then keep your gatherings small and intimate. Get together with a few of your closest friends or relatives for the holidays. Choose to throw the big blowout parties at another time of the year, when you and your guests will have fewer commitments competing for your precious time.
9. USE THE 30-MINUTE RULE.
Sure, you want your home to look great for guests, but don’t fall prey to holiday house fever. “That’s when you try to do too much in too little time,” “Cross off anything on your household prep list that will take more than a half-hour to do. The goal is to spiff up the house a little, not turn it into a showroom.”
10. ENJOY TREATS THE RIGHT WAY.
Too much added sugar can cause blood sugar highs and lows, leaving you feeling more anxious and less able to handle stress. But that doesn’t mean seasonal sweets are completely off-limits, Small changes can significantly reduce your overall sugar intake. Try eating just one cookie or piece of candy instead of a handful so you can have a taste without overdoing it. (Place your treat on a plate, then walk away from the rest of the goodies so you aren’t in sight of more temptations.) Also, when cooking, make no-sugar-added choices like roasted sweet potatoes rather than candied yams (you’ll save 14 grams of sugar per serving).
11. SNEAK IN A (QUICK) SWEAT OUTSIDE.
It’s worth it to brave the cold—especially because you don’t have to stay out too long to reap the benefits. Studies have found that heading outdoors to exercise is more enjoyable than doing the same activity while cooped up inside, and you’ll feel a lift in your mood after just 5 minutes. Working out is also one of the best ways to bust anxiety: Research shows that it promotes the release of endorphins, which act like a tranquilizer on the brain. Plus, exercise blunts the effects of stress hormones like cortisol. Go for a family stroll before or after dinner, or set your morning alarm 20 minutes earlier to fit in a walk.
12. COMBAT ALCOHOL!
Although you may like sipping a tasty mojito or cosmopolitan, your skin doesn’t. Alcohol dehydrates you and can leave your skin dry, grey and dull. To make sure your skin glows despite the endless flow of alcohol over the festive period your moisturizer won’t be enough. Instead, invest in some cleansing milks that contain hyaluronic acid. You could also apply a brightening face mask; look for ones that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, as this natural acid helps to destroy dead skin skills, firm up skin and moisturize. Alternatively, try these booze-free mocktail ideas.
13. TIRED EYES
All those night partying to our favourites tunes at your Christmas party’s is bound to leave even young eyes looking tired. To make sure you stay looking bright and alert over Christmas give yourself a little eye massage to get rid of puffy eyes. Begin at the corner of one of your eyes and work your way up, between your brow bone and your eye, rubbing as you go until you reach the outer edge of your eye. Repeat along your lower lash line. Also, be careful about where you apply your blusher as applying it too high can make you look tired.
14. FLAT STOMACH
For most of us, a flat, washboard stomach is like the elixir of life – a distant, priceless dream that will never become a reality. Yet we have a few tricks that might make that flat tummy achievable. Firstly, try taking peppermint capsules or aloe vera juice. Each do a fantastic job in supporting the digestive system and both can help you achieve a flat stomach by preventing bloating. So that you can look amazing in your Christmas outfit, you can also cut out certain foods that can cause excessive gas and bloating. Try to limit things that contain refined sugar, or fermented products like cheese and alcohol.
15. LET IT ALL OUT.
Bottling up your stress for too long can lead to health issues such as back pain (from excessive muscle tension) and a weakened immune system. So it’s crucial to find a release that works for you. One suggestion: Go to a private spot, such as your car, and scream for about 5 seconds. Yes, seriously. It’s like letting out steam from a teakettle. If screaming isn’t for you, try a few minutes of dancing, singing (put on some holiday tunes!) or deep breathing.
Most of all relax, have fun and enjoy all the memories you will make this year!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Studio 1891!