Balanced Lifestyle

A study examining people’s stress levels during the holiday season found that 31% of Americans describe the most wonderful time of the year as “frantic.” It can be challenging to be full of good cheer if you feel as though your holiday season has become too much to handle. Between buying gifts, hosting gatherings, and keeping your home full of comfort and joy, the winter months can begin to feel anything but merry. These simple holiday tips will help you take the stress out of the season and get you back on track to enjoy time with friends and family.

1. Get Creative for Stress-Free Gift Giving

Gift giving is the best and worst part of the holidays. The thrill of finding that perfect something can be weighed down by the stress of being able to afford everything you wish you could give to your loved ones. This year, don’t be afraid to get creative with your gifts. Try a craft swap where participants exchange handcrafted items that are both functional and decorative. Not a crafty bunch? Have everyone pick something new to try (e.g., painting, knitting, sewing) and see what you come up with. Homemade gifts are inexpensive and come pre-made with fond memories.

Walnut Craft Ornament Stress Free
Don’t forget, material items might last a few years, but memories last a lifetime. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give your friends and family is your time, especially when your attention is constantly being taken up by daily responsibilities and distractions. Put together fun holiday recipe kits for your friends and spend an evening baking and catching up. Gifting them with a memorable experience can be far more rewarding than you can imagine.
California Walnut Recipe Family Stress Free Cooking

2. Host a Holiday Movie Night

Entertaining during the holiday season tends to feel like an obligation. Whether you’re an annual host or part of a rotation, preparing for that big holiday gathering can be stressful. Try something new by throwing a holiday movie night. Encourage your guests to wear their favorite pajamas, bring a dish to share, then snuggle up to watch your favorite classics. Having a potluck-style movie night takes the pressure of preparing a whole meal off your shoulders and guarantees a cozy night full of seasonal fun. Supply one or two baked goods or simple snacks of your own, pass out some blankets, and sit back and relax knowing you can host a great party and enjoy it, too.

3. Embrace the Power of Saying ‘No’

You may be able to balance dropping off packages at the post office, attending your child’s holiday pageant, and buying a present for the office gift exchange in the same day, but a neighbor asking you to bake the cookies for tomorrow’s PTA meeting was not part of the plan. The holidays make us want to do it all and go above and beyond to be helpful, often at the expense of our own sanity. Don’t be afraid to let others know that your plate is full. Limiting your schedule to only a few tasks a day gives you the time and energy to be fully present for those tasks. Being overstressed does more damage than good when it comes to lending a helping hand. Don’t let your schedule turn you into a Grinch!

Keep the cheer in your holiday season by leaving stress out in the cold. Simplicity is key when it comes to having balanced and productive weeks with plenty of room for fun. Prioritizing quality time and making new traditions can be a great way to bring your loved ones together while keeping the holiday burn-out at bay. A happy, healthy and bright holiday season is possible – and within your reach!

Stress Free Cooking Holidays California Walnuts
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