Your Guide to a Stress-Free Holiday Season
Some call it the most wonderful time of the year, but we know that November and December can sometimes be the most stressful. From decorating your house to buying gifts, the holiday season can have even the most organized of us scrambling at the last minute to get everything done.
But have no fear! It is possible to sit back and enjoy the holiday season, stress-free. How, you ask? With a little preparation, a lot of help, and a grateful mindset. This year, focus on your mental well-being by making stress a thing of the past.
A Stress-Free Holiday Season is Within Reach
Since so much of Thanksgiving revolves around making food, it’s not exactly realistic to start prepping weeks in advance — but that doesn’t mean everything needs to be done the night before. Sides, cleaning, decorating, and creating a shopping list can all be done well before guests arrive on turkey day.
If you’ve ever been to the mall the week before Christmas, you know just how frantic last-minute shopping can be. Buying presents throughout the fall (throughout the year, really) can help alleviate a lot of stress and improve your well-being.
Don’t overschedule yourself.
Just like you set a budget for gifts, set a “budget” for your time. Is your calendar already filled with holiday parties, family dinners, and charity events? Remember that you don’t have to attend everything you’re invited to! Your time is precious, so don’t be afraid to kindly turn down certain invitations.
Clean smarter, not harder.
Nothing overwhelms a host quite like a pile of dishes in the sink and food stains on the floor, that’s why we suggest some light cleaning throughout the night. While your home will certainly need a deep clean after the holidays have winded down, cleaning as you go will help you avoid any disasters.
Before a big meal:
- Create a detailed list of what you’re making and what you’ll need from the grocery store.
- Clean everything you’ll need on the big day — tablecloths, silverware, cloth napkins, place settings, and serving dishes.
- Organize your kitchen so that it’s ready for serving trays and helping hands by removing any non-essentials (charging stations, mail holders, etc.).
After a big meal:
- Ask guests to pack any leftovers into take-home containers.
- Good news for whoever’s responsible for doing the dishes — a dishwasher uses far less water than hand washing so throw as much as you can in there.
- Ask the little ones to go around collecting napkins. Once you have them all, throw them in the washing machine.
- Create a washing and drying station for anything that can’t go in the dishwasher.
Make time for yourself.
The holidays are a time of giving, so why not give yourself some downtime? People can feel a lot of pressure to give everyone in their life the perfect holiday that they often forget to take care of themselves. When you lack sleep, down time, and healthy meals, your well-being can fall by the wayside.
Focus on what really matters.
Do you really want your few days off from work to be spent running from store to store, or cooking and cleaning? We didn’t think so.
Whether it’s roasting s’mores over a fire or watching your favorite movie, now is the time to make memories, not to-do lists.
Ditch the idea of a picture-perfect holiday.
Decorations will accidentally break, one lightbulb on your string of lights will refuse to light up, and presents will arrive a day later than they were supposed to — things happen. In the end, these may be the very things that you remember years from now.
Don’t try to do it all.
The sooner you realize that you can’t do everything, the sooner you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the season. Create a list of things you absolutely have to do (like buying your little one’s presents) and a list of things that can be delegated. Having a party? Ask your friends and family to bring a dish they like so you’re not the only one cooking. Tired of spending your few free moments cleaning? Call on your local Merry Maids®!
We may not be able to help you track down this year’s hottest toy, but we can make sure your living room is sparkling clean when your little one opens it! For a professional clean you can see and feel, give us a call at (888) 490-4227!