We all love the holiday season, but wonder, how can we increase the joy and decrease the stress that comes hand in hand with it. Each year, we hope to pull off the perfect holiday season with less spending, minimized craziness, and reduced pressure.
The main question is how do you enjoy more of the holidays while doing less. US Family Health Plan – a TRICARE Prime Health Program gathered a list of 10 ways to de-stress your holiday season. For us, less stress translates to better health and a more enriching experience.
- Shave back the to-do list.Sometimes less is actually more. Aim to knock down the list of chores to the rock-bottom necessities.
- Cut the gift list to rock bottom.Eliminate gift exchanges that have lost their meaning. Focus on young people and those in need. Do a secret “Santa” with a spend limit. This way everyone gets something and you can maintain the spirit of joy of giving and receiving.
- Reduce paper waste. In the age of recycling, cut back on paper, boxes and unnecessary cards. Give electronic cards or messages where possible and eliminate too much wrapping paper and packaging. It all just ends up in the re-cycle.
- Take advantage of catering services. Believe it or not, your local super market is now a haven for economical cooked foods and bakery items. Cut down your time spent in the kitchen by using a mix of take out and home cooked meals. No one will ever know the difference!
- Email or Call instead of sending cards. Keep your greeting list intact, but streamline your postage and holiday card costs. Use email as a way to send out creative or even personalized holiday greeting. Call loved ones or people that you haven’t spoken to in some time to surprise them. This will save you considerable costs, and make the holidays more meaningful through the power of connecting more authentically.
- Scale back décor. In recent years, holiday decorating seems to have taken on a life of its own. Substitute a table top tree for an over the top Tannenbaum. Bring a festive feel to the house, but avoid the need to completely decorate.
- Cut the Clean-a-thon. Focus on keeping the kitchen and bathrooms clean. Public areas and guest rooms can be cleaned when the time arrives. Save unnecessary tasks like painting or carpet cleaning or drapery cleaning until the holidays are over along with the traffic wear and tear. January is full of great cleaning deals to save that stress for later.
- Scale back on Dishwashing Drama. Handwashing fine china or polishing silver are no-body’s favorite holiday activities. So give yourself a holiday break and either use your everyday dishes or even paper if that makes your life less stressful. Forget the need to impress and focus on fun.
- Finger food, not feast. Today, everyone is more health conscious. Think about smaller plates with healthier foods, and watch your soaring grocery bill go down. No need to over-eat. Why bother with digestive issues, when you could rather be enjoying quality time with friends and family minus the heartburn.
- Stay Home! Cuddling close to the hearth, with loved ones or even just a good book is a wonderful way to spend time. In today’s hustle bustle world, you will have to confront the masses soon enough. Cherish the one time of year where you can actually claim some peace and down time.
US Family Health Plan wishes each of you a stress free, healthier holiday filled with family, friends and fun!
Stay home! Cuddling down close to the hearth beats holiday travel any day. A holiday "stay-cation" allows for evening drives to see the lights, family camp-outs in front of the Christmas tree, and evenings spent with family and friends.