Tips 'n Tricks — November 12, 2014 at 5:00 am

8 Tips for Minimizing Stress This Holiday Season

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©istockphoto/CentralITAlliance

©istockphoto/CentralITAlliance

Every winter, you swear that this will be the year that you really get to enjoy the holiday season. No stress, no panic, no tears—just non-stop holiday joy. But then, somehow, the season creeps up out of nowhere and you find yourself right back where you were last year.

With a little planning and a slight attitude adjustment, this really can be the year where you finally get to enjoy the holiday season, stress-free. No, really: here are our tips on how to get through the season with a smile.

Set Realistic Expectations
Let go of your expectations of perfection: nobody is perfect, and if that’s your aim, then you’re sure to end up disappointed. Instead of perfection, aim to enjoy yourself. Sure, letting your kids help trim the tree might mean that all of the ornaments end up clustered on the bottom half of the tree, but it’ll be way more fun – and memorable—then trying to space ornaments out perfectly by yourself.

Make a List
Take a cue from the guy in the North Pole: when it comes to staying organizing this holiday season, lists are your best friend. Use the notes app in your phone or a notebook—looseleaf paper will inevitably get lost in the mix. Make lists for events, groceries needed for big holiday feasts, meal plans for busy mid-week dinners, and gifts that you need to pick up. Don’t forget to check it twice!

Shop Now
Your time is better spent playing in the snow with your family, not standing in a never-ending line at the mall. Get your shopping out of the way by starting as soon as possible. Online shopping can save you a lot of trouble – look for sites where you can tackle multiple people on your shopping list (may we suggest PanamaJack.com?)

See the Light
Studies show that exposure to sunlight can help melt the stress away, so make a point of getting outside during those rare hours where the sun is out. Even a short stroll around the block can work wonders.

Less is More
Instead of stretching yourself thing, focus on enjoying your favorite holiday events and traditions. Saying no to everything else will feel refreshingly good, and you’ll have time to really appreciate the best parts of the season.

Something New
Don’t be afraid to mix up your traditions if it means that you’ll enjoy the season more while stressing less. For instance, if cooking up a big holiday family feast stresses sends you into a panic, why not suggest a potluck dinner, a catered dinner, or simply heading to a restaurant and leaving it to the pros?

Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Avoid burn out by getting a solid night’s sleep. Try to stick to your usual sleeping patterns, if possible. Bonus points if your bedroom furniture makes you feel like you’re in a tropical paradise or seaside oasis—check out Panama Jack’s bedroom collections for a little inspiration.

Remember What’s Important
Presents, money, parties—at the end of the day, none of that stuff really matters. Remember what the season really means to you, and focus on spending time with the people you love.

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