Managing Holiday Stress

This post is sponsored by Sleep Number®. 

I don’t know about you, but at this point in life, I try to avoid stress as much as I possibly can. Working at home sure helps that since I don’t have to deal with the Atlanta traffic conditions. Talk about a stressor, that is one of the top ones in our city.

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So, during this time of year we need to give ourselves a break and realize that all doesn’t have to be perfect. Good enough is sometimes just that, good enough. It’s not going to change the wonderful memories if everything doesn’t go as planned. Most of my childhood Christmas memories are very simple, compared to the expectations we all have today. Now we can see in others’ homes and think that everyone else has it figured out with a picture perfect Holiday season. But that’s not true either.

Holiday stress can be a real thing. I do know that this time of year brings about its own kind of stress as we prepare for Christmas and all that the Holidays bring. For me personally, I love this time of year. The magic of the season brings wonderment and joy and a child-like spirit. Stress really has no place in celebrating this time of year and all the love that it holds, so let’s talk about ways to avoid stress at the Holidays.

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For me, it means decorating early. I finished all my Christmas decorating this year right before Thanksgiving and got the boxes put away and the house cleaned up. Now I can really relax and enjoy the Christmas season for all that it brings. My plans this year include spending time with my sweetheart since he is off work more during the month of December. We will go and tour the Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas home tour together and visit the candlelight tour in the evening. Going to church and hearing all the Christmas music really gets me in the mood. Hot chocolate and winter drinks go hand in hand and it’s those small and simple things in life that can bring the most joy and happiness this time of year.  A Holiday play at the local theater will probably be on the list as well.

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Here are a few ideas for avoiding stress this time of year, so I hope you’ll take them to heart and make this year as stress free as you can:

Decorate as much as you are comfortable with and don’t worry about what’s not done.  Just enjoy the Holidays and only put in the effort you feel you can handle. No one will know if you don’t put up 3 trees, when one will do just fine.  If you’re not up for an explosion of Christmas at your house this year, it’s fine to pare things down and go simple.  Simple fresh greens and a little bit of red and green (or gold and silver) can go a long way to adding festive cheer to our homes.

Lower expectations on family gatherings.  I know, that is sometimes easier said than done. Most families are not perfect and the Holidays can really bring out those expectations of getting along and everyone being happy.  I know from the many friends I have that not all families do get along, so look at things realistically and don’t put too much stress on everything being perfect.  Sometimes just being polite this time of year is in order when family dysfunction is in the mix.

Shop online if you’re short on time (that’s my preferred way of shopping these days) and set yourself a budget for how much you want/need to spend.  Sometimes spending gets completely out of control during the Christmas season, but it’s important not to overspend and cause yourself stress in January. Do what you can and then give yourself a break on not buying it all!  I don’t really enjoy the crowds and hustle and bustle of shopping at the mall or crowded stores, so shopping online is my favorite way  of shopping now, plus you can find some great deals.

Enjoy the small things that make this time of year so memorable. Those things don’t have to cost a lot of money.  Making hot chocolate and sitting by the fire, watching those favorite Christmas movies, walking in a quaint area with Christmas trees and  Christmas music blaring, all of those things make me really get in the Christmas spirit and lower the stress.  We love driving around and looking at the Christmas lights with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.

Make sure you get enough sleep and rest during this busy time of the year.  Getting sleep and recharging your body is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.  I really do love my Sleep Number® mattress that I’ve been sleeping on for 3 years now.  It is so cozy and comfortable and lets me fall asleep and get much needed rest.  I have the m7 memory foam mattress and enjoy how it feels and with soft winter sheets, it’s extra cozy this time of year.

Sleep Number created a bed that allows couples to choose their individual comfort on each side of the bed. In fact, the Sleep Number bed was named best bed for couples by a leading consumer magazine and ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Mattresses” in 2015 and again in 2016 by J.D. Power.

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I worked with Sleep Number 3 years ago on getting my bed installed at my house.  The first thing I did was visit a Sleep Number store in my local mall. The sales people there were very helpful in showing me the different beds available and I was able to test them out before I decided on the m7 memory foam bed.  These beds have DualAir™ Technology which allows each person to set their own sleep number for their side of the bed and get the quality sleep that each individual needs to be as healthy and productive as possible.  I do think my sleep has improved since I got my Sleep Number bed, and as we all know good sleep is as important as a healthy diet and exercise.  It’s another component that goes hand in hand with health and well being.  Our bodies were made to rest at night, rebuilding and healing during this time.

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I hope you all enjoy this wonderful time of the year and get the sleep and relaxation needed to be the best you can be for your family and loved ones.  Don’t let chaos take over, but do what you can to make sure that your Holidays are filled with enjoyment and non-stress, along with plenty of restful sleep!

If you’re in the market for a new bed, you will want to visit Sleep Number stores for yourself. For a store near you, you can visit this page.

- Rhoda

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for posting this Rhoda, as soon as you wrote Atlanta traffic I knew you were speaking to me!! I travel GA 400 everyday, its such a stress, what a blessing to be able to work from home. Like you I finished my decorating in November and I love having a cup of cocoa every night with all the twinkling lights on & relaxing. Especially if there is a Christmas program on TV. Online shopping is the best! I have 2 young girls so I am working on changing my expectations at family events & not getting upset if my girls are not on the best behavior, cause kids will be kids 🙂 Happy Holiday’s you you and your family, love your blog!

    • HI, Lindsey, oh I feel for you! Atlanta is such a stressful place now with the traffic situation. My boyfriend deals with it daily too, so I get an earful from him on the dismal traffic. I hope you get to have some peace and rest this Christmas season!

  2. I, too, thank you for your post today Rhoda. My Christmas memories as a child were absolutely wonderful & I still love Christmas because of that. However, you made me think, this morning. As a child, my Dad would put a string of lights along the roof overhang in the front & we had a Santa, that he made, in the yard with a spotlight. That was it & it was wonderful. It seemed like the best thing when I was a child. I have always really decorated outside because I think my childhood memories made me want to have things as pretty as I “thought” they were growing up. This year, I have cut back but that is very hard to do. I am a little older than you & I feel like I am letting myself down if I don’t do it up in a grand way. So this year, I put out about 1/3 of the lights that I usually do & you know what, it’s fine & looks pretty. The inside is still decorated like always and looks beautiful so cutting back a little is alright. Your post today said just what I needed to hear & I thank you for that. In fact, I’m sure I will re-read it many more times.

    • Linda, it really was such a simpler time back then and I don’t think kids now will get to experience that kind of Christmas, it’s all high tech now. Good for you for cutting back and doing what you can!

  3. Well I needed this one…Right before reading your blog I looked at my calendar, realized we are out of town or scheduled at events all day on the remaining weekends until Christmas…I work full time during the week with a very career plate…..I was about to text my husband a crying screaming emoji but then read the blog…..ahhh…taking a deep breath…it will all work out 🙂

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