When we go on vacation, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and under stress. There is so much to do and so many details – big and less – to organize and exceed: There are candidates to buy (and package!); a home to decorate; food to prepare; relatives to appease (think: mother-in-law!). The list feet endless.
But with a myriad of tasks and only 24 hours in a day to get them done, how is it possible not to let the stress relay your ugly head and get you stressed? After all, stress is inevitable … right?
Well, maybe not. You can have a stress free yule if you have the right tools and the right mindset. Here are 8 ways to enjoy your vacation without stressing them.
-> 1. See your pennies.
Picture this: Your kids have begun the latest Nintendo Wii; Your sister has suggested a Prada tote; your husband would love a new set of golf clubs … The Gimme factor has grabbed and the list of I-gotta-garden's goes over and over again.
Of course, it feels good to spend your hard earned money on those you love. But when the Visa bill appears in your mailbox, the sensitive factor in the darker ugly fear of: "How should I pay for all this?"
The secret – which in fact is not at all secret – is to speed you up economically; Do not blow your wet all at once. To remain within your budget, not beyond your means. Being unable to buckle about the newest or biggest is hard and disappointing are your friends and family the last thing you will do. But you stay awake at night and worry about how to finance your holiday pension is far worse.
The Stress-Free Solution: Although purchased gifts are definitely the easy way out, it's not good at the style of home gifts. And that feel-good rewarding factor? Priceless. (For slight inspiration, go to http://www.Michaels.com).
-> 2. Get away from the buffet!
Eating and drinking on holidaymakers may seem as natural as snow in December. But overindulging comes with a high price: weight gain.
To avoid extra padding of this holiday season (and we do not talk about the duvet on your king size bed), avoid overindulgence like the plague. That does not mean that you have to refrain from all yummy holiday prizes. No way! Just do not use your holiday as an excuse to go nuts! The key? moderation; moderation; moderation.
The Stress-Free Solution: Has a small but satisfying pre-party snack – a container of fat-free yogurt; a 100-calorie packet of microwave popcorn or oatmeal; 10 almonds; an ostepind – to keep you from attacking the dessert table. (For more food-related tips and charts – including a daily fitness and calorie intake / nutrition bench –
go to: http://www.fitday.com.)
-> 3. Plan ahead.
If you like most Americans buy the majority of your holiday gifts at the last minute, you do not even favor someone. Not only does split-second trading mean that there is a lot of stress – not to mention bad decisions – it will cost you more money than if you plan for the future and have made your vacation within working days.
To return the watch is not an option (really thinking about buying snow shoes in September, anyway?), But that does not mean you can not plan next year. As soon as your tinsel has been thrown out and your eyes untouched, you turn on sales on holiday and squirrel your offers on upcoming events all year long – birthdays, anniversaries, bridal and baby showers, holiday gifts, etc. You will be glad you did .
The Stress-Free Solution: Shop Online! Even if you can not score any serious offers, do not worry: The savings you get in the health are worth the price. (For no-fuss shopping solutions, arranged by apartment, go to http://www.gifts.com)
-> 4. Shop off-peak.
If you are going to shop on the 24th of December – and do not say you have not been warned – do yourself a mitvah and go for off-peak hours. According to my cousin Sara, who can sniff a purchase of 300 meters, it's best time to go to a shopping mall crawling from kl. 13.30 to 18.30 – dinnertime! I tried it (on black friday, no less) and discovered that although it was not a ghost town, the pre-dinnertime mall was pretty darn quiet.
The Stress-Free Solution: Use your noodles to think outside the box (or shopping center, as the case may be).
-> 5. Keep the expectations realistic.
For many of us, the holiday can be an emotional nervous time, so great to be fun, jolly and gay (the happy kind, not the cowboy to the just freaky friend). But not everybody wants to dance around the Christmas tree during the holiday season, especially if there has been a sad event, tragedy or loss in the family (a death, a divorce, a divorce, etc.).
The Stress-Free Solution: If you can keep an eye on the award – gratitude for your health; a home; a satisfying job a supportive family and friends – you are less likely to feel "less than" because your life is not all roses, sunshine and smiley faces (which are still overestimated).
-> 6. Live in harmony (or at least fake it).
Holidays tend to bring families together – which is not always a good thing, especially if your family is more Osbourne than Osmond. But it is OK. No family is perfect and neither should you be.
At the same time, holidays are not time for overwhelming emotional conflicts, ugly family benefits or aeration of dirty linen. If you are angry with your aunt Blanche for ____ (choose a violation), there is no rule that says you can not keep it to yourself. Your living room is not a Jerry Springer soundstage. In other words, back off!
The Stress-Free Solution: Avoid emotional family conflicts – at least until the mistletoe is taken down.
-> 7. Delegated tasks.
Of course, everybody thinks you're Superwoman – and in many ways you are. But that does not mean you have to do holiday shopping, pack the presents, clean the house, cook, serve and clean up the dinner and stay in a good mood, all at the same time. You deserve some help!
Asking is a way to get help. But telling them about you what you expect from them – what you need – is often the most effective way to get things done.
The stress-free solution: "Do not ask, do not tell" does not work in the military, and it will not work for you during the holiday season. So ask. Tell!
-> 8. Add a touch of fun.
Driving around like a headless chicken serves nothing but purpose to make you feel like a headless chicken. In addition, there must be a better way to prepare for the holiday. What about trying to actually enjoy them for a change?
Of course, it's easier said than putting your feet up and enjoying the sled, especially when your two-do list rivals Santa. But there is one way: Try to enjoy the process of vacation prep.
For example, instead of robust plowing through your holiday card list, put on a festive music (my pick: James Taylor for Christmas), take a hot toddy and a pretty pen and start typing. Before you know, your list is done and you've actually enjoyed the process. What a concept!
The Stress-Free Solution: Channel your inner Mary Poppins and think: "Every job has to be done / There's an element of fun / You're having fun and snap! / The job is a game!" Hi, if it worked for Mary …