This is supposed to be a time of comfort & joy and silent nights but if your household is like mine, it’s anything but as Christmas Day nears. The tasking, spending, driving, cleaning, cooking, wrapping, etc. can cause one to feel stressed. And if you are hosting/entertaining for the Holidays, the feeling of being overwhelmed can really mount up.

Here are our 8 tips to reduce stress.  (Try them – they work)!

1.  Take a break.  You may feel like you can’t but start by blocking out just a few minutes a day to rest.  Shut your eyes, listen to music, meditate – anything other than “doing” something.

2.  Get some sleep.  Again, you may feel like you need to burn the midnight oil or “it” won’t get done.  But, without enough sleep, you will crash and most likely not get everything done anyway.  And, you’ll be cranky and pessimistic.

3.  Eat well.  Yes, these all seem like no brainer tips but you know how it gets.  You’re busy so you run out without eating then hours later you grab something sugary, fatty and unhealthy.  Or, you go without entirely.  Take the time and ensure your energy level stay up by eating healthy.  Focus on vegetables and proteins especially to maintain your energy.

4.  Alcohol in moderation.  Having a glass of wine with dinner to help you unwind can help ease stress.  But, more than one or two drinks a few times a week may increase your stress and make things seem more overwhelming than they are.

5.  Be realistic.  Your house doesn’t have to look like a Martha Stewart magazine and your baking doesn’t have to win a blue ribbon.  Focus on what you DO have and put it all in perspective to what’s really important this time of year.  Focus on the positive, the good, and your achievements.

6.  Accept who you are.  Maybe you are someone who doesn’t get into the Holiday Spirit as much as other people around you.  That’s okay.  Don’t feel guilty or fake it.  That causes more stress.  Only participate in activities that you find enjoyable and resist complaining or whining about the activities you dislike.

7.  Ask for help.  What can you delegate?  Are your kids old enough to help with some tasks to free up your time such as dinner prep, gift wrapping, opening the mail, addressing Christmas cards, folding laundry, etc?  Can your spouse help a bit more?  Maybe they won’t do it exactly how you would do it but at least it will take it off your “to do” list.

8.  Give to others less fortunate.  Nothing puts things in perspective more than focusing on how fortunate you are compared to others in need.  Many families are struggling to pay their heating and electric bills this winter; and they are asking for help to meet the basic needs of their children (clothing & food).

We know our tips seem easier said than done when you are in the thick of it.  But take a moment and read again from 1-8 and try as many of our tips as possible.   We’re here to help when you get to #7.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from The Classic Cleaners Team!

– S.O.