Tuesday, December 4, 2018

7 Ways to De-Stress Your Holiday

This post is sponsored by Wente Vineyards but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This time of year is so magical! We love the excitement the holidays bring with them, and we try to soak it all in as much as possible. But, that's not always easy. The holidays can be overwhelming too. The parties, the school functions, holiday cards, the shopping, wrapping gifts, decorating, maintaining traditions...and the list goes on and on and on. All normally fun things, but when compounded on top of one another it can get a bit tricky and stressful. 

And we've been there. In a major way. 

We've been that person multiple times on Christmas Eve frantically trying to holiday shop at the last minute (and if we're honest, we'll be that person again this year too.). We've been the person who volunteers to host a gathering and then wonder when we are going to have time to make the house presentable before people come over. We've been the person to try to create the best Pinterest worthy treat for the classroom holiday party only for it to epically fail last minute and then resort to plan B (side note: when in distress donuts always win the hearts of little kids everywhere). 

It all gets to be a lot. And you still have to factor in everyday normal life activities too. 

All the stress makes you lose sight of what the holiday season truly is about - enjoying making memories with friends and family. Spending quality time with loved ones is what matters most. 

This year we've tried to make a conscientious effort to minimize the stress, and simply enjoy the magic of the season. Our goal was to spend more quality time with our family and friends, and less time running around doing literally all the holiday things. We've made little tweaks to our "normal" holiday routine, and so far this season has been one of the least stressful yet. 

Circle back around to us on December 23rd and we might be rocking a different tune, but so far we're surviving and our holiday season is much less stressful in comparison to years past. 


1. Plan ahead. Buy ahead. Get ahead. 
Okay this tip seems simple in theory. Because it is. One of the easiest ways to eliminate holidays stress is to start planning for the holidays early, and buy your gifts early. Running around shopping can be a huge time suck, and in the moment shopping can be stressful. Utilize all those early holiday sales and try to buy gifts as you see them throughout the year instead of just a one month span of time. Not having to run around battling other crazed holiday shoppers and frantically trying to check everyone off your list will do wonders for your mental health. 

This tip was HUGE for us! We knocked out most of our holiday shopping the week of Thanksgiving Break. We made an effort to plan ahead, get our gift lists together early without the distraction of other holiday responsibilities, and managed to get 75% of our lists finished. It feels so good to know we can knock out the last few items on our list while we are just out and about in our normal routines. It's early December people - there's still time! 

2: Realize you don't have to make all the holiday things. 
Okay, we get it. It's so hard not to scroll through Pinterest and want to make the most swoon worthy holiday meal. But, unless you naturally are a whiz in the kitchen, trying to make a ton of new trendy recipes can be overwhelming. 

There's no shame in sticking with traditions and crafting a meal out of taste-tested family approved recipes going back ten generations rather than the latest Whole 30 friendly recipe you pinned last week. 

There's also no shame in purchasing pre-made food, having your meal catered, or opting for a pot luck style dinner. 

Kick back, grab a glass of your favorite wine, and choose to soak in the memories being made around you - not in coconut oil vegan-friendly candy yams you've attempted. The less stressed about the actual meal you are, the more you can enjoy the actual meal with your family. 

3: Outsource where you can. 
Be a good holiday manager and outsource like the mom boss that you are! Delegate where you can so that you can free yourself to enjoy the season. Can gifts be ordered and delivered to your doorstep? Click away my friend!  Do you have a new teenage driver who can pick up an online order for you from the store? Utilize them! Been wanting to try out that new grocery delivery app? Do it!

4: Schedule special time with special friends. 
Sure you'll see your bestie at the holiday party next weekend, or you have that cookie exchange at the end of the month, but outside all of that - schedule just plain old relaxing time with your closest girlfriends. A little quality time outside of the holiday chaos and large crowds can do wonders for the soul.

Throw on some pjs, grab a bottle of chardonnay (this Wente Vineyards Chardonnay is our new favorite!), and for one hour put the holiday to-do list on the back burner.

5. Just say no. 
This one is tough for us, and a problem we have in life in general and not just the limited holiday season. But sometimes the least stressful route is just saying no. Really think about what activities you want to participate in and say no to anything extra that might contribute to making the holiday less enjoyable. If you get invited to two events that overlap one another or are at the same time, really sit down and think which one you would get to spend more quality time with the people you love or that would result in more enjoyable evening. The "no" part is tough on the front end, but usually worth it on the back end.

6. Fake it so you make it.
Okay so we are all team #realtree, but this year we both went to the dark side and purchased artificial trees. Having young children, curious pets, and limited free time to continuously clean the same thing over and over again (We're talking about you gorgeous Frasier Fir who likes to shed the moment we bring your evergreen smelling goodness into our homes).

Best. decision. ever.

Now we spend less time cleaning and watering, and more time basking in its lit up glory with our little ones.

So grab your favorite holiday scented candle, put away your vacuum (you know, after you get those crumbs from dinner), and enjoy your pine needle free evening. 

7. Make time for you! 
You hear it all the time mamas, but make time for you. Especially during the holidays. Take an hour and actually go to your favorite workout class. Take thirty minutes, grab your latest book club read a glass of wine and sit in your favorite chair to tune it all out. Take ten minutes to jam out to your favorite songs. Get a mani pedi. Scroll through social media on your phone while munching holiday cookies your neighbor dropped off.

Do something for you! Taking those few precious moments to tune out the holiday chaos around you and recharge yourself can do wonders. Even five minutes a day can make a huge difference when you feel like your holiday to-do list is never ending.

What are some tips and tricks you have for de-stressing your holiday season, and spending more time with your loved ones? 

Learn more about Wente Vineyards and check out some more amazing tips on how you can make time for friends and family this holiday season! 

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