The holiday rush has begun! Normally my December 1st post is all about our wonderful holiday teas and upcoming events. But then, yesterday a dear friend shared that she was “already stressed out and the holidays had just begun!’ I put the kettle on and we chatted about holiday stress. After some research and laughter we’ve come up with 5 ways to keep calm merry & bright during the holidays.
Regardless of which of the magical December holidays & traditions you practice chances are you are pretty busy preparing for celebrations, gatherings and hopefully fitting in some volunteering.
In all our rushing about for the holidays it’s very likely we can get our ‘tinsel in a tangle’ and then create anything but a peaceful & enjoyable holiday.
Here are 5 ways to keep calm merry & bright during the holidays! (And yes- tea plays a key role!!
#5. Choose a Holiday Motto.
Pick a mantra or personal theme from a holiday song or movie line that makes you feel good. Last year mine was ‘Jingle Bells’ and every time I heard a bell no matter where it was coming from I took a 10 second ‘time out’ to savor the moment and spirit of the holidays. This year my motto is Cheers to Christmas Tea to gather for a cuppa with friends and family more. Find more about Holiday mottos and happier Holidays here
#4 Keep Daily Routines
Even the most basic routines can help balance the holidays. For example, if your family’s normal bedtime routine starts at 7pm and everyone goes to sleep at 8pm keep that routine. Perhaps add some special holiday magic – quiet instrumental holiday music softly playing, sharing a cup of holiday spiced tea or reading holiday books for children’s bedtime stories.
Or if everyday around 1:30 you enjoy a nice cup of tea keep that routine going- out shopping? Bring a thermos of tea with you so you aren’t running around looking for a cup of your favorite tea!
If you find yourself forgetting these basic routines set up an alert on your phone or other device to remind you of these important yet basic routines for self-care and family harmony. Read more about the role of routines for a happier holiday here
#3 Exercise & Hydrate every day!
Even if it’s a simple 10 minute walk outside without a screen or distractions like shopping (and no… shopping in the mall does not count as relaxing exercise!) Daily exercise allows us to ‘turn off’ our brains to re-focus and reduce stress. Enjoy more water or tea throughout the day. Hydrating with water or tea also helps our brains function and improves our sense of health and well-being. SO that afternoon cuppa Moroccan Mint to combat being so tired is REALLY good for you!
#2 Enjoy the company of family and friends with simple gatherings.
Not every holiday gathering needs (or should be) from a Hallmark movie! Just getting together to share a spot of tea with a simple holiday table decorated with a bowl of oranges and rosemary as a centerpiece can be merry & bright to your guests. Remember K.I.S.S- Keep It Simple for Success!
Which brings us to #1…
#1… Reduce holiday stress by not even picking it up! So much of the holiday stress comes from marketing of some big companies ‘perfect holiday’. Decide now to create YOUR ideal holiday and not pursue the ‘perfect holiday’.
After all you can’t live in a Better Homes & Gardens photo shoot for the holidays! If you find yourself stressed and chasing perfection I recommend:
Making a cup of tea as often as you can. It takes 3-6 minutes to make a pot or a cup of hot tea. While you are waiting you might as well sit back, relax and count your blessings! You could even listen to a podcast about happier holidays like this one HERE by Gretchen Rubin! Instead of being stressed and chasing perfection you’ll enjoy all the holidays have offer! You might even find yourself spending more time with others than last year just sipping tea & sharing a smile.