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!
Are you having difficulty falling asleep at night? Are you awake because you are constantly tossing and turning? According to the National Sleep Foundation 2012 Bedroom Poll, 4 in 10 (41%) report problems with tossing and turning at least a few nights a week. In order for you to reduce tossing and turning for a better night sleep, the National Sleep Foundation suggests you create a more sleep-friendly bedroom environment.
- Check your sleep surface- Your mattress may be the problem! If the mattress you’re sleeping on is old and worn out, you may experience aches and pains causing you to toss and turn. A firm, comfortable surface will help reduce aches and pains and allow you to fall asleep peacefully.
- Eliminate noise- It’s important to eliminate any unwanted background sounds when preparing to go to sleep. To block out sounds you can wear earplugs or turn on your fan to create “white noise”. Too much noise in your bedroom can become a distraction and prevent you from falling asleep.
- Adjust the temperature- If your bedroom is too hot or too cold, you will find it difficult to fall asleep. It is recommended you keep your bedroom cool at night so you can feel relaxed and comfortable.
- Remove excess light- In order to have a restful sleep, you want to make sure your bedroom is dark. Having too much light in your room can be a distraction and keep you awake longer than you anticipated. Turn off any extra lights or electronics that are bringing light to the room.
- Develop a relaxing routine before bed- Try going to sleep at the same time every night to develop a consistent sleep pattern. Avoid any stressing activities prior to going to bed and clear your mind from any worries you have.
The telltale signs that summer is coming to a close are here – Pre Season Football (go Bears!), Labor Day plans – and Back-to-School for the kids. Much is written every year about how parents can ease back-to-school stress for their kids, which is a very important topic. But in this post, we want to talk about how to ease that back-to-school stress for parents!
When your kids are transitioning from summer break to school, the stress doesn’t just impact them – it also impacts you. The lazy days of summer are gone, and it’s back to the grind for everyone. From juggling the morning breakfast routine to managing each kid’s after-school activities – while balancing everything else in life – you may find yourself a little more than frazzled once that first school bell of the year rings.
So, how can mom & dad manage their stress levels in order to help their kids ease back into the school routine, while also maintaining their own sanity? One of the best ways to help manage daily stress is through better sleep. Sure, it’s tempting to stay up a couple of extra hours to cross more off your “To Do” list. But, with a good night’s sleep, you can get the energy and focus you need to accomplish more during the day, while helping your body to rejuvenate for better overall health.
Your kids thrive on routine, and so can you. It’s easy as adults to forget to stop and take care of ourselves. Often, we push our bodies past its limits by staying up too late or doing things that impact the quality of our sleep (such as watching TV in the hours before bed). By establishing a nightly bedtime routine, you can improve your chances of falling asleep sooner and at the same time every night. Choose nighttime activities that calm your body and mind, such as gentle yoga or a hot bath. Repeat these activities every night, about one to two hours before your scheduled bedtime.
Shut down. How many times do you find yourself telling the kids to turn off their computers or cell phones? Well, it’s time to take the same advice yourself. Activities such as surfing the Internet and watching TV can actually impact the quality of your sleep if done in the hour before bedtime. Not only do these activities stimulate your mind, making it difficult to fall asleep, the light from these devices also impacts your body’s internal clock. So, set a good example for your kids, and limit the use of electronics to the appropriate times of the day.
Family Time for Stress. Your family is the center of your life and what motivates you to work hard each day. Daily stresses are inevitable, whether it’s from an office job or from juggling the tasks of a stay-at-home parent. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the stress and let your emotions get the best of you. Why not make it a point to schedule family time each night, so the last thing you experience before you start your bedtime routine is completely positive? If you start your bedtime routine feeling good about yourself, you may find that the day’s stress melts away, allowing you to fall asleep faster.
Invest in Yourself. Back-to-School time means spending a lot of money on new clothes, shoes and school supplies. By the time the shopping list is crossed off, there’s probably little spending money left for you for a little while. That’s OK, because there are other ways to invest in taking care of yourself. Take a daily walk with your significant other or best friend. Dust off that old pilates DVD and make a point to get back on track. Moms, plan a spa day with your girlfriends or daughters in the coming months and save up for the splurge. Get creative and find ways to reward yourself for all you do.
If it’s time for a new mattress in the family this back-to-school season, check out these great offers from Serta going on now through Labor Day:
- Get a Free Boxspring with iComfort® or iSeries™ gel memory foam mattresses.
- Get incredible savings on a Perfect Sleeper® – starting as low as $299.