7 Ways to Plan a Low-Stress Holiday Season | Rocky Mountain Health Blog

7 Ways to Plan a Low-Stress Holiday Season | Rocky Mountain Health Blog

By Zach Snyder

Life Hacks and Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Celebrations

The holidays are almost here, and while it may be the most wonderful time of the year for many, it can also be a very stressful time. Fortunately, much of the stress and anxiety can be limited (or even eliminated) with some careful planning and preparation.

Get the spirit of the season with these 7 essential planning tips for stress-free holiday celebrations.

1. Stick to the most important traditions, and skip the rest

It can be tempting to hold onto certain traditions, but we also need to recognize that things change (especially as kids get older.) Being flexible with your plans can take away much of the holiday stress you might otherwise have.

This doesn’t mean you should let go of every beloved tradition — think about the events that are most important to your family and plan accordingly.

2. Keep some last-minute party recipes on hand

For many people, the holidays mean a whole lot of cooking.

Making all of those appetizers and main courses is a surefire way to add to your stress, so plan to make easy recipes ahead of time. You can even try these 5 holiday appetizers, entrees, and dessert recipes that can be made moments before the next gathering.

3. Hang a calendar of important holiday events in plain sight

Even if you already keep a calendar, consider hanging a holiday-specific one somewhere in your home. It’s an easy visual reminder of upcoming events that can help keep the entire family more organized. You can also add other important deadlines to the calendar, like the date you’d like to have your gift shopping completed by or days when you need to cook and clean before a party.

4. Break big tasks down into smaller pieces

You can’t plan properly if you aren’t sure how long a task or errand will take, so break larger tasks into smaller action items. For example, gifting might include brainstorming ideas, going to the store or making an online order, and wrapping.

As you decide how to tackle your holiday to-dos, you may find that you’re juggling too many things. When this happens, don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends and family.

5. Don’t accept every holiday party invite, especially if you’re already stressed

There’s no rule that says you have to say yes to every event invitation during the holidays. Double check your holiday master calendar before saying yes, and don’t feel guilty if you can’t make an event.

6. If you’re traveling, pack smart

When traveling for the holidays, pack everything that’s needed for the first night in an easy-to-reach spot. Include essentials like a toothbrush, pajamas, and any items you’ll need right away. Make a list to avoid over-packing.

7. Make time for getting outside

With so many ways to enjoy winter in Colorado’s Grand Valley, planning regular outdoor adventures is one of the best ways to reduce your holiday-related stress.

Get outside for a stress-busting trail run or bike ride at the Monument, go for a leisurely snowshoeing adventure around the Grand Mesa, or take a deep breath while strolling down the Colorado Riverfront Trail. No matter how you choose to get outside, you’ll feel the stress melt away once you’re in the fresh air.

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