You don’t need to walk alone.

Week Four: Enjoy Your Christmas

The most vital component of getting together is the joy and gratefulness of having one another and being able to meet and connect. Sometimes we get so caught up in the work and preparation that we miss the moment and fail to make happy memories. There is always so much to do during Christmas that we can burn out. Instead, we should enjoy the season and be in the moment with the people we love.

We can begin by creating new memories. The next time you meet a friend or family, remember to share the moment and be grateful for the relationships and friendships.

Here are some tips to reduce and avoid stress.

One: Breathe

I have realized that I often forget to stop and breathe when I am busy. It only takes a few seconds to take a deep breath, hold and exhale. This small but powerful exercise can instantly make us feel more relaxed. It reminds us that we need to stop and take a moment to breathe. What use are we if we do not have oxygen? So remember to take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed.

Two: Plan ahead

One way to reduce stress during the busy Christmas season is to plan. Planning helps to get us ready in advance. The most common question I was asked ‘How do I start?’ Here is a simple guide to get you started:

  1. Calendar Update: First, mark all the important dates on your calendar. Mark the dates for family dinners, activities, and all other occasions for the month.
  2. List: Then list all the events you will need to prepare for, like a dish to bring, dinners, and snacks. You can have different lists for different tasks or reminders. Here are some examples, a list for foods, and gifts, a shopping list, a list for To Dos, a Guest List, and so on. Having a list helps me to do a brain dump of all my thoughts and keeps me from forgetting in an organized and simplified way. You can keep the list on paper/notebook or your phone.
  3. Prioritize: It can be stressful looking at all the lists and events for the month. Setting priority will help us to focus on the urgent matters first. Go through the list and prioritize the earliest events you should prepare first. Then any other hosting events you can prepare in advance. A quick tip is to list all the meals/foods you need to prepare so that you can list all the ingredients and check if there are similar ingredients. This way, you can save some time and money.

Three: Prepare in advance

There are a few things we can prepare in advance to help reduce any last-minute rush. For example, cleaning the house, getting gifts, baking cookies, and even freezing some dishes earlier will make hosting easier.

Four: Get help

The last thing we want is to be burned out during the holidays and fall sick from exhaustion. If we feel tired and overwhelmed, try asking for help from close friends or family. I am grateful to have my husband and children help me when I host an event at home. It is exhausting doing everyone ourselves. It can also be fun working together. Enjoy the talk and the company. Remember to thank those who helped out. Gratefulness goes a long way.

Five: Stay hydrated

I am guilty of not drinking enough water and then suffering a headache later. We need to take care of ourselves before we can care for others. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is one way to stay healthy.

Six: Make time for rest

Lastly, take time to unwind and relax at the end of the day. Our bodies need a break too. Treat our bodies well, and it will serve us well. Try to get some well-deserved sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy the day. A good day is what you made it to be.

Christmas is a time to love and spread the joy of giving, just as Christ was the greatest gift of all. Let us take time to care for one another and ourselves too. Have a very Merry Christmas!

God bless you.

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