The holiday season can be stressful at times, whether your usual celebration is simple or over-the-top. Luckily, you can minimize stress while maximizing holiday enjoyment with a few easy-to-implement strategies. Here are some of our favorite ways to stay cool, calm, and collected this season:
One of the easiest things you can do to make your holiday season less stressful is to plan ahead. Cozy up on the sofa in your favorite women’s loungewear with a notebook and pen. You can freewrite your ideas for holiday celebrations or make ordered lists, depending on your preferred planning style.
Write down gift ideas for friends, family, co-workers, and service providers. It might make things easier to choose a price point when thinking of ideas, such as gifts $50 and under, for example.
Planning your holiday meal well in advance is another thing you can do to simplify. Write down who you plan to invite and when you want to host the celebration. When menu planning, take into consideration any of your guests’ dietary requirements. If you’re not sure if anyone is vegan, gluten-free, or allergic to certain foods, reach out and ask them.
Use your calendar or print one from your computer and fill in important dates. Choosing which days that you’ll be shopping, wrapping gifts, sending invites, and so forth can make it easier to schedule the rest of your winter activities. Post your to-do list and winter calendar somewhere you can see it often to keep yourself on-task.
The clothes you wear can have a direct impact on your stress level at times, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Wear comfortable apparel whenever you can to ensure you’re warm, cozy and can move freely without worrying about wardrobe malfunctions. A pair of women’s sweatpants with a full elastic waist and drawcord is an ultra-comfortable choice, and you can match them to a sweatshirt or wear it with your favorite tee.
Treat yourself—or your whole family—to a pajama day. Family Christmas pajamas are comfortable and festive, and you can wear them for an annual Christmas card or a home holiday photo shoot. Cozy up in flannel pajama pants and tops, along with fuzzy slippers. You can set a soothing holiday mood by playing Christmas movies or music and enjoying steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Marshmallows and peppermint sticks as a garnish are recommended but optional.
No matter how much planning you do or how efficient you are, you still may experience some holiday stress. This is true for the rest of the year whether there’s a special occasion to plan for not. The good news is that there are plenty of activities that can reduce or eliminate a great deal of stress and stress-related symptoms.
Exercise is known to be good for body and mind, although you should always get your doctor’s approval before starting any new fitness regimen. Suit up in women’s yoga pants and an athletic shirt for a stretch session or slip on a women’s fleece jacket and take a stroll around the neighborhood if weather permits. Even a vigorous housekeeping session can count as a workout, plus you’ll reap the rewards of a satisfyingly clean and uncluttered space afterwards.
Enjoying your favorite hobby or finding a new one can also help diminish tension. If you haven’t painted since college, treat yourself to some art supplies and get creative. Maybe you love needlepoint or find reading to be a relaxing activity. Even watching your favorite TV show can count as a stress-reducing activity if you balance time on the couch with a more active pursuit.
One thing to remember this season is that you don’t have to go it alone. Even if your circle can be considered small, there’s likely one or more friends or family members who’d be happy to help with holiday prep. Send out some texts, social media messages or make calls and see who’s free for a gift-wrapping session or a trip to the shopping center. Some loved ones may be handy in the kitchen, while others may volunteer for after-dinner cleanup.
Give a small token of appreciation to your holiday helpers to say thanks. Food gifts are often reasonably priced and go over well. After all, who wouldn’t be delighted to receive a tin of peppermint cookies or chocolate-covered caramels? After the treats inside have been enjoyed, the tin can be reused.
If you’re not sure what to buy some of the people on your gift list or you’re short on time, choose a gift card. Lands’ End gift cards are a versatile option, as your recipient can buy everything from flannel shirts to home décor.
Our final tip for having a relatively stress-free holiday is to remember your reasons. Think about why you’re doing all the hard work and planning—likely because you want to enjoy a festive holiday with your loved ones. It may help to slow down and remind yourself that decorations and dinners don’t have to be perfect. It’s the time spent together that matters, so try to ease up on expectations and have fun with your favorite people.