We asked you, The Women’s Conference Community, how you stay sane during the holidays. You responded on our Community Forum and on Facebook. Here are our 11 favorite responses -- with tips on how to preserve your sanity during this stressful (but magical) time.
Truthfully, here's what you need to do in order to make it through the holiday season: Spend as much time in bed as possible in the days leading up to the holiday. Eat what you want. Read what you want. Watch the trashy TV you like. Be completely self-indulgent. Face it. It's either that, or lose it when someone criticizes your stuffing...
Bake More, Schedule Less
Baking is a big outlet for me. I love the holidays because it is an acceptable time to force platefuls of homemade cookies on people. But really the most hectic part of my holiday is the travel. My survival tip is to do less scheduling, just sit back with a glass of wine and go with the flow. Pick one place and stay there.
Get Creative with the Family
My husband and I make holiday activities (gingerbread houses, cookie decorating, classic Christmas carols, turkey hats etc.. ) the central focus instead of worrying about the presents under the tree or trying to make all the holiday parties. When my 3 year old reaches adulthood, we want him to have meaningful childhood memories to reflect on that were filled with plenty of laughter, family traditions, and time spent together.
Take Time Out
I take a five minute time-out, the same technique I teach my patients (I'm a clinical psychologist.) Take five minutes to meditate, do a creative visualization exercise, do progressive muscle relaxation, or just close your eyes and tune out.
Cook in Advance
I have learned to make as much food as possible ahead of time and store it in safe microwave Tupperware containers to take out and heat or serve at the right moment.
Forego Christmas Cards for Email
Not sending out Xmas cards but rather sending out a note via email to family and friends. It saves time, stress and money for me and my family. Last year I did not send one out due to my breast cancer treatment. I noticed how calm I was about the subject versus everyone else in turmoil over "the right picture", the "right card stock", the "right addresses". Last year, I sent out a heart-felt note about life, holidays and the importance of health with a picture of my two children. Simple, meaningful and inexpensive...Sane.
I put on my favorite "nostalgic" music or some Christmas music and look through pictures of past holidays. It puts everything into perspective when you can see how fast time has flown by and the changes from year to year.
Lower Your Expectations
It helps to have low expectations. Feuding family members will not reconcile, turkeys will be over or under cooked, trees will topple, kids will tussle, but the world keeps on turning. Enjoy the blessings of the day and "don't sweat the small stuff."
Marissa's Well-being and Health
Staying sane for me this holiday season means taking small right actions daily. To support this, I will choose seasonal, local foods that are grounding and warming and will avoid overindulging in sugary foods that drain my energy. Finally, I will find small ways to give of myself to others whether it be reaching out to a friend with encouragement or volunteering my time to help those in need.
Take a Walk with Fido
The stress-buster I use the most are walks around the block with my dog, it’s the time where the cobwebs in my head, the exhaustion in my body and my reluctance to do one more thing all seem to melt away.
Honor Your Feelings
Don't fall prey to "what you should do." Every woman is empowered to honor her feelings, her wishes and her family. Be authentic. There's no better time than now.
Want more pointers on how to prepare for the holiday season?