Back in the day when we were kids, the holidays were nothing short of magical. Personally, I relished the opportunity to decorate those festive cut-out sugar cookies and play with the cousins I only got to see once or twice a year, and I have fond memories of my brother and I leaving out salty snack mix and soda for Santa every Christmas Eve. (Santa would be sick of eating cookies by the time he got to our house, according to my parents.)
But now that we're full-on grown ups, some of those magical moments seem to have dissolved into not-so-magical stress. Add a couple of kids and some in-laws into the mix, and it can feel like the only magic you're experiencing during the holiday season is the magical feeling of your head finally hitting the pillow at the end of a long day. But even with a lengthy to-do list, holiday stress doesn’t need to bring a dark cloud over what should be a joyous time, which is why we partnered with zero-calorie sweetener Stevia In The Raw to offer up some solutions to nip holiday stress in the bud before it even gets the chance to rear its ugly head.
Ahh, the common problem of so much to do, and never enough time to do it. The best way to combat the last-minute mad dash to cross everything off your to-do list is to write it earlier than usual. If you know you're always stressed by Thanksgiving, try writing down everything you need to get done in early November and start knocking out small tasks before the busy season arrives. You’ll thank yourself come December when you’ve already ordered your holiday greeting cards, bought wrapping paper, and decided on cookie recipes!
I'm not saying the never-ending supply of delicious cookies and sweet cocktails around the holidays is a bad thing, but I personally feel the need to take a break come January. If you're trying to avoid sugar overload, try getting in the habit of preparing your favorite foods with sweetness found in nature, like Stevia In The Raw which is made with extracts from the stevia leaf. It comes in small packets that you can stash in your bag and sprinkle over some fresh fruit or into some coffee or tea at parties, making everything feel like more of a well-deserved treat.
We all relate to the holidays being a busy time of year of doing things for other people, but in moments when you feel yourself getting stressed out, remember that you deserve a great holiday experience, too. Give yourself time to indulge in a little self-care with a good book or an at-home spa experience, complete with your favorite face mask and a DIY manicure after the kids go to bed (bubble bath optional, but encouraged).
And if you’re strapped for time, ask your partner or a family member to take care of the kids for a couple hours. You’ll feel ready to tackle your to-do list and then enjoy the season when you know you have some valuable time to yourself to decompress.
Ever noticed how much time we tend to waste on the idea of finding the perfect gift for everyone? Leave this habit in the past by enlisting a friend to be your shopping buddy, and designating a limited amount of shopping times in your calendar in advance. Both of you can keep each other accountable, and the limited time will give cut down on how long you worry whether the scarf you picked out for your aunt is the right shade of teal.
Pick a date in January and plan something for yourself. It doesn't have to be fancy, but knowing that you have a massage, a solo trip to the mall, or even a day where the kids are hanging with a babysitter so you can binge watch some TV will give you something to look forward to when you're in the middle of the holiday hustle.
This post is sponsored by Stevia In The Raw.