A Stress-Free Family Holiday


A Stress-Free Family Holiday

by Olessia Kantor
Holidays Family Exercise Alcohol Stress

It’s that time of the year again!

The weather is dreary, the jingles are everywhere and you are expected to spent quality time with your family. Though spending time with your loved ones is a blessing (that’s what the holidays are about, after all) even the closest kin can get testy when they are together for a few days. Your mother-in-law will likely criticize everything from meals on the table to the size of your TV, the kids will be wild as the sea, misbehaving and on sugar highs. You will find yourself pulling your hair out! I understand your hesitation, I have been there. That is, until I developed these 7 golden rules myself and now, I LOVE the holidays and can’t wait for the holidays!

1. Maintain your routine

Taking care of your mind and body during holiday season helps keeps you to deal with stress. Pay attention to your own needs feelings and keep to your daily schedule.

2. Pay attention to what you eat

Start your day off by eating a small and healthy breakfast. Drink plenty of water throughout the entire day. Being hydrated will diminish the chances of snacking and impulsive eating. Using a smaller plate also supports portion control.

3. Control your alcohol intake

It is understandably stressful being with in-laws or showing off your new partner, but there is no need to overindulge and pack on the extra calories. As they say - all good things in moderation. Stay tipsy and you can control the situation better.

4. Exercise

Don't make excuses! You always have time to exercise. Realistically plan 30 min a day for a walk or run, do some yoga stretching, or a quick cardio circuit before breakfast. Be consistent. These 30 minutes will give you much needed “me time” to balance off “family time”. It is a win-win scenario.

5. Delegate

Rather than slaving over a holiday meal by yourself to show off all the recipes you have been studying - invite your family to cook with you. Pour a bit of wine and allow others to help create the meal you will share. It is immensely bonding. If you are entertaining guests, ask each guest to bring one dish. Compliment anyone with special culinary or decor skills and be the hostess with the mostest. 

6. Be realistic about who you can handle and for how long

Give events a time limit and set boundaries for potential guests. Politely say no to those who have bad manners (sneaking away to private areas of your home, who are overtly nosey, and those who tend to overstay their welcome.) Before arriving to a holiday gathering, agree beforehand how much time will be spent and keep to it. This way, you will enjoy everyone in small doses and not be overwhelmed.

7. Enjoy quality sleep

Sleep is important. On limited rest you are easily agitated, less patient, which is likely to affect your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Keep to a healthy 7-8 hours especially during the holidays for your own sanity.

If all else fails, put on a smile and go watch your favorite family holiday movie, to remind you why family and friends are everything! Happy Holidays!