Our Tips for Stress Free Holidays

Today we want to talk about how to keep your stress level down in the holidays. The holidays can easily become overwhelming and stressful. Here are a few tips to help make your holidays as stress free as possible.

When something disrupts your holiday plans, it can create unnecessary stress. When that happens what you really need to do is take a deep breath and tell yourself it’s going to be alright. The truth is that most mishaps can be minimized so they don’t become disasters.

If you forgot something at the store and the store isn’t open, you can most likely substitute something else. If you forgot a present for somebody, you can most likely throw something together with what you have on hand or make up a homemade gift.

Here are a few tips that help us to minimize stress around the holidays:

  1. Plan your holiday meal ahead of time. That way you can go food shopping well in advance of the holiday. You should be able to pick up most of the items needed for recipes ahead of time, especially if they are pantry items or other foods that will keep.
  2. Do as much meal preparation as you can before the holiday. If you can make complete dishes or side dishes ahead of time. Or if you do all the preparation work for each recipe, it will take less time when you go to make the recipe. You can make your pies, rolls, other baked goods and even many appetizers and sides ahead of time. The only thing we know you can’t make ahead of time unless baked is the stuffing.
  3. Keep your meals as simple as possible. And if you’re doing meals with a large group or family, have each family member bring one or two dishes or items to complete the meal. This will help the host not to be so overwhelmed with preparing the entire meal and they will get to spend time with the family too.
  4. Use your slow cookers or instant pots for as many of your sides or meal as possible. This will free up your stove and oven and also keep these foods warm. You can make your mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, or other dishes this way.
  5. Do as much of your holiday shopping ahead of time. That way you won’t be scrambling at the last minute to finish gifts. Depending on your budget, you can pick up a few inexpensive things to either make up a gift or to easily finish a gift.
  6. Do as much of your shopping online as you possibly can. Use the grocery pick-up options at local stores so that you aren’t having to fight the crowds in the stores. Simply have the items shipped to your home or have them brought out to your car.
  7. Decorate early for Christmas. Even if it’s just the day after Thanksgiving, go ahead and put those decorations up. It’ll help get you in the holiday spirit and help to improve your mood if you are down.
  8. Get yourself in the spirit by watching holiday movies or listening to holiday music. Have a hot drink like cocoa or cider or make a comforting dish like a soup with homemade bread.

Try to plan ahead as much as you can. Some of us have the luxury of starting well in advance while some of us do not. Planning ahead will help reduce your stress and improve your mindset during this holiday season.

Make sure to remember and tell your kids and family what is really important at the holidays. Don’t forget that holidays aren’t about perfection, gift giving or keeping up with the Jones’ but are about spending time together. The holidays are about making your time together meaningful and most importantly making memories.

Start some New Traditions or something special that your family does together. Be mindful to make the most of your holidays with your loved ones. You don’t know how many more holidays you will get to spend with them and time is just too precious to take for granted.

Those are just a few things that we do to help keep our holidays as stress free as possible. While things obviously are going to come up, the more we prepare, the least disruptive these will be. We’d love to hear about your tips for stress free holidays. Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for stopping by and visiting Sunup to Sundown! We’ll be back soon with another recipe or update regarding our garden or our journey to becoming more self-reliant.

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