By Jennifer Scheumann of TinyOranges.com
‘Tis the season to be…stressed. There, I said it.
I am a really positive person by nature but every year during the holiday season at some point I find myself thinking how sad it is that what is supposed to be the happiest season can easily become the most stressful time of year.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little planning and perspective, you can find more peace this year with these tips on how to avoid holiday stress.
1. Implement a Method to the Shopping Madness
A lot of the holiday stress for me comes from last minute running around. If you plan ahead you can save time and streamline your errands.
First, make a list of all the people you will buy gifts for this season along with gift ideas. You can also do a budget if that helps you feel less stressed as well.
Once you have your list of gifts, write down where you will get them, and make a list of your retail shopping locations, gifts to buy at those stores, and online shopping.
Take your retail stores and make a shopping plan where you can either take a chunk of time and do a lot of it in one day, or break it up into stops where you can plan out when you will hit those stores.
For your online orders, schedule a block of time so you can do the majority of it at once.
2. Shop Early. Like Now.
Once you are done with your list, there is no time like the present (no pun intended), so get out there and get as much shopping done early as possible. Having your shopping done will, in itself, make you feel more at peace.
3. Evaluate Your Social Calendar
A lot of stress for the month of December comes from the “fun” events, right?! The additional social events can really throw off your groove.
Just like your shopping, write down all the social obligations you will have for the month by date.
Taking it a step further, write down any shopping or preparation needed for that event.
For example, do you need a new pair of heels for your husband’s Christmas party? Need to buy a gift for your child’s holiday classroom party?
Add those errands to the retail stops or online orders in your shopping plan so you can get it all done in one swoop!
3. RSVP “No” If Needed (It’s OK!)
The holidays can sometimes be too much. Give yourself permission to politely decline a social invitation if you feel like you are getting over scheduled. You don’t have to go to everything. Say it again with me, “you don’t have to go to everything.”
4. Give Yourself Permission to Take Shortcuts
Nobody cares if you buy a dozen sugar cookies from your local bakery for your cookie exchange. Put it in your own dish with a pretty bow and call it a day. Nobody has to know. I won’t tell.
5. Schedule in Time to Take Care of Yourself
In the month of December, it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves. In your week, schedule one hour (or more!) of an activity that relaxes you. Maybe it’s a pedicure, reading a book, taking a bath, going for a walk with a girlfriend, etc. Taking time to recharge your battery will help ease the stress and keep you more in balance.
6. That’s a Wrap
In the week(s) prior to Christmas (NOT the night before) schedule a block of time to be in your house ALONE to get all your wrapping done. If that means arranging for your husband or the grandparents to take the kids for the day, do it! Even better, maybe there is a high school student in your neighborhood that would want to wrap your gifts for a small fee? Consider outsourcing if needed.
Just don’t leave your wrapping until the wee hours of the night. You need your sleep.
7. Silent Night
Speaking of sleep, the number one thing you can do to avoid holiday stress and find peace is to make sure you are getting a solid night’s sleep, every night. No more online shopping or gift wrapping late into the night! Plan ahead so you can make sure that your sleep is not sacrificed. Lack of sleep and over-caffienation can make anyone feel stressed.
I hope some of these tips have been helpful. Now go out and dazzle this holiday season!
Hosting holiday guests can be an extra way to make great memories this holiday season. To create a pleasant experience for out-of-town guests, welcome them with these simple tips that can make all the difference.
Here are five ways to make your guests feel at home:
1. Give a grand tour: When guests arrive, give them a tour of your home. This helps to orient your guests and make them feel comfortable with the space.
2. Create a comfortable space: If the room your guests will be staying in is not a designated guest room, make minor changes to make it feel homey. If the room gets chilly, provide a space heater. If the sun rises in their window, consider hanging darker and thicker curtains. Clean out a drawer or leave extra space in the closet to make guests feel at home. Fresh flowers or a light air freshener can also make the room feel fresh and clean.
3. Keep guests satisfied: Provide a pitcher of water and water glasses on the nightstand so guests don’t have to search for a drink. You can also provide a welcome treat such as freshly baked cookies.
4. Provide extra bedding: It can be awkward for a guest to ask their host for items such as extra bedding. Leave extra pillows and blankets in the guest’s room so they can access what they need over the course of their stay. This is particularly important if their room is not typically used for sleeping.
5. Think of the little things: Leave a welcome tray with toiletries such as soap, shampoo, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. Place books and magazines in the room to help guests fall asleep in a new place.
Follow these tips and your guests will have an enjoyable stay at your home for the holidays! On behalf of everyone at Serta, Happy Holidays!
Baby, it’s cold outside. As the temperatures drop outside, there is no better feeling then cozying up inside. Whether it’s in front of a crackling fire, while watching your favorite movie, or snuggled up on your Serta mattress, it’s time to cozy up for winter!
At Serta, we make it our mission to keep you comfortable and winter is no exception. Here are three ways to cozy up this winter:
1. Make Gourmet Hot Chocolate
A warm, rich cup of delicious hot chocolate can’t be beat. To make your hot chocolate extra special, start with high-quality chocolate and use milk instead of water. For a rich and smooth drink, heat the milk then pour it over the chocolate and stir until smooth. You can also try adding accent flavors like mint.
2. Wear Your Favorite Thick Socks
Warm feet = a warm body. Keep your toes warm with a thick pair of socks or slippers. Socks made of fleece or wool are the best materials for keeping your feet extra warm.
3. Wrap Up in a Serta Luxury Fleece Blanket
To keep you cozy this winter, we’re giving away a Serta Luxury Fleece Blanket every day over the next ten days! Our Luxury Fleece Blanket is made from extremely soft and breathable premium fleece.
To enter, participants must visit the Serta Facebook page and fill out the entry form. One winner will be chosen every day for ten days!
The sweepstakes will run from November 17, 2013 through November 26, 2013, exclusively on Serta’s Facebook page, where additional details and Official Rules will be found.
They sleep in our beds, sit on our laps, make us laugh, and go on our family vacations, so why not give them the best? This month, as part of Pet Wellness Month, Serta is celebrating pets by giving away one pet bed during each week of October.
National Pet Wellness Month was created to educate pet owners about making certain that pets receive regular check-ups, examinations, and disease prevention. Serta is excited to contribute to pet wellness by making sure pets receive a good night of sleep. After all, that’s what we do best!
The Serta Pet Month Contest will showcase a different pet personality each week in October. One winner each week will get to choose a Serta Pet Bed of their choice, either the Memory Foam Couch Bolster Pet Bed or a Pillow Top Poly Fill Pet Bed for their lucky pet.
Beginning Friday, October 4 at 10AM CST, participants may visit the Serta Facebook page and submit a photo of their pet matching that week’s theme. Here are the weekly themes:
- Week 1: Sweetest Sleeping Pet – Show us your pet cuddling up for a nap or sleeping in their favorite spot
- Week 2: Playful Pet – Send a picture of your pet in action – running, jumping, or leaping
- Week 3: Mischievous Pet – Submit a photo of your pet caught in the act of being sneaky
- Week 4: Pet in Halloween Costume – Whether it’s spooky, funny, or creative, show us your pet dressed up for Halloween
Each week, one lucky winner will be chosen at random to select the pet bed of their choice.
The contest will run from October 4, 2013 through October 31, 2013 exclusively on Serta’s Facebook page, where additional details and Official Rules will be found.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. The Serta Pet Month Contest (“Contest”) is sponsored by Serta Inc., 2600 Forbs Avenue, Hoffman Estates, IL60192(“Sponsor”). Contest begins 10/4/13 at 10:00 a.m. CDT and ends 10/31/13 at 11:59 p.m. CDT. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding residents of Quebec), who are the age of majority or older. Odds of winning depend on the total number of eligible Entries received, the quality of Entries received and the skill of the individual entrants. Approximate retail value of all prizes is $396. For the Official Rules visit http://on.fb.me/1fMlaMu.
How many times have you said “Go to bed!”? Probably too many. Back to school is an adjustment for many families, particularly when it comes to getting back into a bedtime routine. Sleep plays an important part in a child’s growth development, allowing their muscles, skin, and bones to grow and fix injuries, and in keeping them healthy. Studies show that kids and teens who don’t get enough sleep have trouble focusing in school, which can cause behavior problems, inability to focus, and poor grades.
Here are a few tips for getting back into a bedtime routine and helping your kids get the sleep they need.
1. Set a Firm Bedtime and Stick to It
Start making bedtime 10-15 minutes earlier each night until you reach the desired school night bedtime. This will help make a smooth transition from summer hours to school hours. Once you have a routine, keep it consistent so their bodies adapt and sync with that sleep schedule. If your children or teens have a packed schedule, try to limit late-night activities to only 1-2 nights during the school week.
2. Limit Television and Electronics
Those bright lights can significantly affect a child’s ability to fall asleep. Make sure computers, cellphones, video games, and television are turned off at least one hour before bed. Not only will kids go to bed later with these distractions but having them in their bedroom can be the cause of schoolwork distractions.
3. Dim the Lights
Dimming the lights in the evening can create a more relaxing environment and prepare your child for sleep. Darkness is necessary for one’s body to trigger melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy.
4. Create a Wind-Down Time
Take 30 minutes before bedtime to wind down. Use this time to create a bedtime routine: brush teeth, drink that final glass of water, pick out clothes for the next day, make lunch, double check that everything is ready for tomorrow, and read a quick story.
Cooler temperatures, the crackle of leaves under your feet, pumpkin-flavored treats, football games, and thick cozy sweaters all evoke the excitement of the fall season! There are many aspects to love about fall; why not embrace it in your bedroom?
Transition your bedroom for autumn the same way you do your wardrobe, food, and attitude. This fall, stay warm in your bedroom with luxurious fabrics and cozy colors for a great night’s sleep. Here are some decorating tips for embracing those chilly autumn nights in your bedroom:
- Warm, Earth-Tone Colors – It’s time to change up those bright or non-existent colors in your bedroom for warmer autumn-inspired hues, including red, orange, brown, yellow, and gold. Warmer colors help your bedroom feel more welcoming and comfortable, especially during the fall. Add these colors to your blankets, linens, curtains, or if you’re feeling bold, your walls!
- Cozy textures – Your autumn wardrobe probably consists of knits, wool, fur, and cashmere. Take inspiration from your fall clothing and embrace those textures in your bedroom. Look for thicker fabrics for your rugs and blankets to make a statement and increase your comfort level. Add fall-inspired prints, such as leaves, for a subtle nod to the autumn season.
- Soft lighting – Setting up dimmer lights in place of harsh lighting can create a cozy environment in your bedroom. Use colored candles in fall hues to add more autumn inspiration. Don’t be afraid to decorate with candles, especially scented candles to create a warm ambience. Smells such as apple pie, pumpkin, maple, or the always classic vanilla, will create an environment that smells as good as it looks!
Sleep comes easy to some people and not so easy to others. If you find yourself in the unfortunate group that spends the nights counting sheep, there are plenty of tips and tricks to consider – some conventional and some that are downright surprising. Convinced you’ve tried them all?
Here are five unconventional sleep tips that could have you falling fast asleep:
Drink cherry juice – Cherry juice is a great drink to sip before going to sleep. It’s rich in melatonin, which regulates your sleep cycle; studies show that the melatonin content in cherry juice improves and aids in sleep.
Listen to white noise – White noise is similar to the sound of rain falling against your window or the fan spinning in your room. It helps you fall asleep more easily because it drowns out the rest of the noises that can occur outside your bedroom
Take naps – Most people believe napping in the day can deter you from getting a good night’s rest, but for some people, it may just be the opposite. The ideal time for taking a nap is in the early afternoon for 20 minutes.
Learn night-time yoga stretches – Exercising in the evening may not be the best idea to get a good night’s sleep, but yoga can help sleep come faster. Yoga stretches relax and stretch out muscles and regulate your breathing pattern.
Block out all light – This might seem like a no-brainer, but even the smallest slither of light could throw off your sleep. Try wearing an eye mask if light affects the way you sleep.
Do you have an unconventional sleep tip? Share it in the comments below!
Nothing is more thrilling than the anticipation of summer vacation. Whether you’re traveling abroad and experiencing local cultures and cuisines or spending a weekend catching some rays at the beach, nothing brings the family together like a summer vacation.
The Serta Counting Sheep are looking for you to count them – wherever you may travel this summer. Each week the Counting Sheep will pop up somewhere new on Twitter and it’s up to you to caption their adventures.
Read on to find out how you can join us to enter to win a weekly prize!
Tweet and Win!
Serta will be holding a caption contest on Twitter each week between July 15, 2013 and August 11, 2013. Serta will tweet a picture featuring a Serta Counting Sheep each Monday and you have until the following Sunday to tweet a clever caption of the photo using the hashtag #SummerOfSerta.
Week One – enter 7/15 through 7/21
Week Two – enter 7/22 through 7/28
Week Three – enter 7/29 through 8/4
Week Four – enter 8/5 through 8/11
Serta will retweet its favorite captions; of those retweets, one lucky winner will be selected at random each week to win the Serta pillow set of his or her choice! That means four chances to win!
Enter to Win:
- Follow @SertaMattresses on Twitter.
- Tweet a caption of this week’s photo (tweeted by @SertaMattresses) using the hashtag #SummerOfSerta.
- Check back to see if your caption has been retweeted! The winner will be announced the following week.
To enter this giveaway you must be 18 years of age and live in the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). The giveaway is valid July 15, 2013 – August 11, 2013. Of the entries that are retweeted by @SertaMattresses, one winner will be selected at random each week. The winner will receive a Serta pillow set of his or her choosing. (Serta may retweet more than one (1) person; of those who are retweeted, only one (1) person each week will be selected to win). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sponsored by Serta, Inc., 2600 Forbs Ave., Hoffman Estates, IL 60192. Individuals suspected of using multiple Twitter accounts to enter will be disqualified.
Do you find yourself occasionally tossing and turning at night because it’s just too hot? To keep your cool even on the warmest days of the year, try these helpful pointers:
- Keep your bedroom dark: To prevent heat build-up during the day, keep your blinds closed so the sun is not beaming into your bedroom. The more sunlight you have in your room, the hotter it will become.
- Lower the temperature: Air conditioning is ideal for those hot summer nights and can quickly cool your room down. If turning up the A/C is not an option, add a small fan to your bedroom or open your windows to create a cool breeze.
- Take a shower or bath: After being in the heat all day, the last thing you want to do is jump into bed feeling hot and sweaty. Before you go to sleep, take a refreshing shower to lower your body temperature.
- Wear light, comfortable clothes: Put away the heavy, flannel pajamas. Wear light, breathable clothing to prevent your clothes from sticking to you.
- Evaluate your mattress: Make sure you are sleeping on a comfortable mattress that is designed to dissipate heat and whisk it away from the body. For instance, Serta’s new iComfort Directions™ mattresses feature four exclusive technologies designed to balance comfort, support and temperature regulation.
For more advice on how to get a better night’s sleep – even during the hottest months of the year – check out the National Sleep Foundation’s article, “Sleeping When it is Blistering Hot” and share your personal tips in the comments below.
Does your bedroom need a makeover, but you’re not sure where to begin? Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to planning the room of your dreams!
Set up a budget: Before you begin creating your dream bedroom, it’s important to create a budget you can afford. Set a reasonable amount so you don’t break the bank. This will help you prioritize essential items from non-essential items and keep you from spending too much money.
Measure floor space and dimensions: In order to add furniture, carpet and accessories to your bedroom, you need to have accurate measurements of the room. Know the perimeter and area of the bedroom so you can organize your room without feeling too crowded.
Determine the theme: Do you want your room to reflect the overall theme of your house or have its own unique style? If the theme is similar to your house you will want to have complementary color schemes. If you want the room to have your own personal touch, then you can get creative and experiment to develop your own customized theme.
- Keep a log of inspirational prints and colors: Once you select the theme of your bedroom, begin looking at different color schemes to select the perfect one. Take your time and choose a color that will promote sleep and make you feel restful. Cool colors such as blue and green are popular bedroom colors and make your room feel comfortable. Create a digital scrapbook of your favorite options to help you determine the prints and colors that make you feel the most relaxed.
- Adding accents with accessories: Who said having a white bedroom was boring? To brighten a room, you can add a splash of color with accessories such as bedding, pillows, lamps and mirrors. Accents work best with white or beige walls and can conveniently customize your room.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll soon be sleeping comfortably in the bedroom of your dreams!