(This post originally appeared last year about this same time. I thought a refresher would be good.)
I’m not sure exactly how it happens. But we are all enjoying some leftover Halloween Butterfingers, a steaming cup of fall apple cider and a walk in the foliage and then OH MY GOD THANKSGIVING IS ALREADY OVER AND HOW AM I GOING TO ORDER MY HOLIDAY CARDS, BUY GIFTS, DECORATE MY HOUSE, TIP ENDLESS PEOPLE, HOST 23 PEOPLE AND I THINK I’M HAVING AN ANXIETY ATTACK.
Because I want to make your life better and calmer, I’m here to give you some suggestions. I would have called this post 9 Ways to Calm Your Sh*t Down This Holiday Season but I recently made fun of all the lists out there and it seems a little hypocritical. So follow these steps and get ready to get calm….
Pinterest is Dead to You (for the Holiday Season)
You know what happens to the mind when you see stuff like this…
Courtesy of Dining Delight
You begin to feel very mediocre and inferior. That doesn’t sound festive or fun! STAY OFF PINTEREST.
Develop Calming Strategies
When you feel that paralyzing anxiety that prevents you from doing anything productive, take a look at things like this…
Oh my gosh, how can you be stressed when you see PUPPIES!!
Or if you aren’t a dog person, how about this…
Or maybe this…
Or maybe this is more your thing…
Find calming, stress reducing images and stare at them while taking 10 deep breaths.
There is No Award for Getting It All Done Quickly
I once received someone’s Christmas card the day after Thanksgiving. It just made me mad that they were so efficient. You don’t want to make people mad do you? So take your time. Holiday cards received on January 5th are just as special as ones received earlier. Or stand out and send your cards on Arbor Day. Or even easier, slap a family photo on Facebook and bam – you’re done. What’s the point of technology if we don’t take advantage of it?!
Do the Worst Job First
Think of the thing you are most stressed about. It’s different for everyone. Maybe it’s figuring out all those tips. How much to give? Who to give it to? Wouldn’t it just be easier to hand out $20 to every person you see from Thanksgiving to New Year’s? Or maybe it’s figuring out what to feed all the people that are about to descend on your house. Whatever it is – do it first.
There is something so liberating about getting a crap job off your “to do” list. It will actually lower your anxiety level, freeing up energy to get other stuff done.
Do Volunteer Work
I know what you’re thinking… I just cut 250 turkey feathers for the Thanksgiving feast craft project! I have 3 paper cuts and no longer have any feeling in my fingertips – why would I need to do MORE volunteer work? But forget the PTA for a minute, grab your kids and go volunteer for a soup kitchen, collect food for hungry children or pick up litter.
There is something so wonderful about getting out of your own head and just doing something for someone else. And you will also be role modeling the kind of person you hope your kids turn out to be.
Make a Gratitude List
This will take ONE minute and you can write anything you want. You can be grateful for your family, the fact that you live in a world where your DVR can record 3 shows at the same time, someecards, Botox or that your grocery store is once again carrying that pumpkin spice creamer you love so much.
When you remind yourself of all the amazing things in your life, you stop freaking out so much about how you are going to make a turkey for 23 houseguests. (By the way, I have no idea how you make a turkey for 23 houseguests. You’re going to have to find a different blog for that.)
There is No Shame in Buying
Don’t remake the gravy three times from scratch. Buy it and be done with it. Trust me, you’ll have plenty of time in January to perfect your cooking skills when it’s cold and dark by 4:23 pm.
Get your Soul Cycle, Crossfit, Orangetheory or Zumba on. Go for a crisp fall walk. Play a tennis game. Put on yoga clothes and pretend you worked out. Whatever works. When you get your body moving, your head always appreciates it.
Final Stress Reliever!
Okay one more…
See? You’re calm. Now go kick some holiday ass.