5 ways to celebrate the holidays, sans stress

Picture 6For a lot of us, the holidays are an escape: a time to slow down and let the hum of work, life and everything in-between melt away.

But for others, the very thing can be a source of stress in many ways.

With T. Day upon us and the sleigh bells nearly ringing in Rochester, here are some helpful tips for reducing or altogether eliminating stress this holiday season. (Your health will thank you!)

1. Avoid being crunched for time: Plan ahead

Stuff the turkey—or tofurkey; roast the sweet potatoes; chop the green beans; bake the cornbread.

It’s virtually impossible to whip up a holiday feast without some planning prior, if you are hosting the holidays this year.

To avoid the added stress stemming from meal prep this season, try jotting down a list of what needs to be done first. And as you knock these items out, feel the stress evaporate.

A trusty pen and pad of paper will certainly do the trick, but check out the Better Homes & Gardens menu-planning tool for some fresh ideas on preparing for a holiday party.

Plus, making a plan (and sticking to it) will help you prevent frivolous spending from creeping into your budget.

Check out the Living Well, Spending Less blog for some food spending tips for the holidays.

Quality not quantity

Another good reminder if you plan to host Thanksgiving dinner or any holiday celebration: delegate guests to bring a dish.

Don’t feel like you have to shoulder the entire menu. Guests love to contribute (most of the time) and it will only enhance your meal by literally bringing ‘different ideas (well, recipes) to the table.’ Or, if you really want to provide the entire spread, try focusing on quality not quantity and picking your top four recipes rather than eight.

2. Have positive rhetoric on hand for grumpy relatives

A common but often missed source of stress during the holidays can be the churlish relative who loves swooping in to push your buttons. Whether it’s a snarky remark or a full-on dissertation, one way to ensure you don’t reap the hazards of this relationship this year? Think of a few positive retorts sure to trigger a ceasefire should you find yourself ensnared in a convo that is more apt to leave you with a headache than a happy heart.

Some examples? Try changing the subject to a lighter, more positive topic. Or, simply smile, acknowledge you were listening and walk away. Read more on how to handle negative people here.

Not only will you benefit by not being bogged down or caught off guard, but you might even pull your befuddled aunt or uncle from their negative cloud to enjoy what the holidays are centered on, gratitude, joy and kinship.

Here are some reminders on expressing gratitude in your life so you are a little happier, on your own!

Check out our story from last week’s issue here.

3. Have options

If you are hosting out-of-town guests for the holidays, a great way to ease the stress of planning around their schedule is to have backup options. Rochester has a slew of holiday events you can cart family to, and if they can’t make it because the penciled in a quick lunch with an old college pal while in town?

You will have lots of choices for entertaining on the back burner. This will take the stress (and guess) out of coordinating around several schedules, not to mention likes and dislikes.

You’ll want to take a gander at this year’s holiday happenings around town here.

4. Work out and indulge

Time Magazine’s Healthland section reiterates a great point for this time of year: It is OK to indulge. Remove the stress you build up by trying to avoid indulging. Check out the story here.

One way to combat this troop of stress? Try a quick workout in the morning. Chances are good you won’t regret the extra slice of pumpkin pie if you jogged a few miles in the a.m.

Speaking of running, here are some fun Thanksgiving Day workouts we came across this week from the blog Carrots ‘n’ Cake.

5. Stress-free holiday travels

Planes touchdown, trains load up, taxis carry families down streets lined with holiday lights. Travel is a big part of this time of year for many Americans. Some 4.3 million people will travel over Thanksgiving weekend and a heck of a lot more during the wintery months ahead, according to the American Automobile Association and the USA Today.

Here are six ways to travel stress-free, from USA Today.

Think these things combined won’t reduce your stress?

How about a massage? Here are some spots around town that will be raring to ease your pain and lift your spirits for the holidays:

In Rochester:

Revitalizing Touch Wellness Spa, located at 824 North Main Street, downtown.

Phone: 248-652-4067

Website: www.rtwellnessspa.com

A Massage on Main Street, located at 414 South Main Street, downtown.

Phone: 248-652-0511

Website: www.amassageonmainstreet.com

In Rochester Hills:

Massage Heights of Rochester Hills, located at 3050 Walton Blvd. in Rochester Hills.

Phone: 248-375-8000

Website: www.massageheights.com

Don’t forget to read our story earlier this year on why massages are great for your health here.


Santa hats and stocking at a tropical Caribbean beach

About Jen Bucciarelli

Veggie lover and aspiring word chef, reporter Jen Bucciarelli covers all things health and medicine for Rochester Media and The Community Edge. She is always on the hunt for local experts who can help improve the lives of our readers. Send her a note at JenBucciarelli@gmail.com.

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