Taking Control of Your Health: How to Have Happier Holidays

Are you waking up every morning thinking about all the things you haven’t done this holiday season? Is the tree still in the attic, the lights in the basement (with only half actually working), and your Christmas gift list growing longer? Or, perhaps you started strong, but are already suffering from holiday fatigue, feeling more like the Grinch than Martha Stewart. Parents offers a sanity check in the form of 10 Steps to a Less Stressful Holiday. Take a few minutes and read some of their tips for greater holiday happiness:

Make it a family affair. All too often we run around creating non-stop holiday magic without actually talking to our family about what they want. Gather everyone together and ask what every individual’s top three holiday activities are. What do they love to do? Perhaps it’s making cookies or attending a special service, or stringing popcorn garlands or helping in the community. Then ask for three things they could do without. You might be surprised at what you can trim while preserving what’s important.

Stay home. Did the air just rush out of the room? Yes, you can opt not to visit relatives during the holidays this year, especially if the timing is making the prospect especially stressful – a young baby or job demands for example. There will be disappointment, but that’s ok. Just be sure to clearly communicate what you need as a family right now and send something special and personal like an audiotape or video recording. Take the opportunity to plan a visit at some less stressful time in the new year to give everyone something to look forward to.

Don’t outdo yourself. Let your neighbors knock themselves out covering every square inch of their property with lights and decorations. Think maximum impact with less work. Pare down your efforts, and don’t decorate for hours on end. It’s ok to take a half hour a day to gradually get some holiday cheer on display. By all means, don’t be a decorating Grinch – let your children participate even if the results are not House Beautiful worthy.

Say no. Why fill your home with holiday cheer for the family then not be there to enjoy it? Say “no” to excess obligation. Practice in front of a mirror if you have to. List what you will do ahead of time, then respond with “no” to everything else. You can do it. Be gracious, be grateful, but decline. Then, put on pjs, gather the family, pop some popcorn, sip on hot chocolate and enjoy your own decorations.

Get some more happier holidays inspiration here. Less is more!

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