Health starts in the kitchen
Health starts in the kitchen
Whether it’s the dropping temperatures or new pumpkin-spice products popping up seemingly everywhere you look, there’s no getting around the fact that the holiday season is quickly approaching. For many, this means time off work or away from school, comfort food for days, and family gatherings. Family gatherings can enjoyable, stressful—or a little bit of both.
Either way, family gatherings an important way to catch up with individuals who you’re close to, and the holiday season provides the ideal environment for family get-togethers. However, most people would agree that these gatherings would be a whole lot more fun for everybody if some of the stress was taken out of them.
Remember, you can always find ways to remove stress from stressful situations, but you can’t get back memories of family gatherings if you choose not to attend or host one altogether. So, highlighted below are some tips for stress-free family gatherings to help bring you all of the joy of the holiday season without the stress.
Top Tips for Stress-Free Family Gatherings
Plan Ahead and Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
During a busy time of year—between buying gifts, making plans for get-togethers, and just keeping up with your daily life—your routine can feel like it’s becoming hectic. However, remember that there’s still time left to plan for everything, and planning ahead is key. If there are preparations that you can make ahead of time to make your gatherings less stressful later on, take care of those preparations ahead of time. Whether it be setting a date for your family to meet up far in advance or taking care of other holiday-related tasks like wrapping gifts to take stress off a dinner party you’re planning, the future you will thank you .
Having said that, no matter how much you plan ahead and try to plan everything perfectly, life happens—your schedule might become hectic and things simply might not go as planned. The people around you understand that and will likely offer up their help: accept it.
Don’t feel like you have to take on planning holiday gatherings—or any gatherings—alone. The preparations will go more smoothly and be far less stressful if you accept that you can’t do everything alone. Most importantly, remember that no matter how “perfect” you try to make every gathering, there will always be small imperfections, but that’s not what family gatherings are about, nor what your family is there for. Family gatherings are about spending time together, not getting caught up in the small details. If you spend less time worrying about the imperfections and spend more time focusing on the quality time with your family itself, you’ll be able to stress less .
Don't Feel Bad About Trying Holiday Treats
The holiday season is two shorts months out of the year, not a lifestyle. Now, of course, this realization isn’t a call to mindlessly eat every holiday food without listening to hunger cues, but it also means that an important part of the holiday season is enjoying those delicious holiday treats with your family . If you’re genuinely not in the mood for that one sweet treat because you’re full from dinner, don’t be afraid to say “no”—you won’t be offending anybody, and your body will thank you later for saving it from a stomach ache.
The same goes for those foods that you want to eat. If your parents or grandparents have that one signature holiday dessert that you spend all year excited about, enjoy every bite. After all, the holiday season only comes around once a year, and with that so do the delicious holiday foods and the happiness and nostalgia wrapped up in them.
So, in terms of eating habits, the holiday season should be just like any time of year—continue eating your normal balanced diet when you can, but get full enjoyment out of those favorite holiday treats. This mindset is sure to relieve holiday-season stress and prevent you from missing out on your favorite dishes.
Remember What the Holiday Season's About
The end of fall and the beginning of winter can be generally stressful times of year. Whether it’s the thought of a family gathering that’s causing you stress or just the smaller things like icy, slippery roads or that pesky cold that you’ve had for weeks, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the details of the holiday season and forget the bigger picture.
Remember that the holiday season isn’t about who can host the flashiest party, cook up the best dish, or had the most successful year. It’s about coming together with family to celebrate during a very special time of year. Keep that bigger picture in mind, and relax.
Moving Forward into a Brighter Holiday Season
So, if you’ve had any doubts about hosting or attending family gatherings this holiday season, it’s time to cast those aside. Remember that your stress levels are what you make them. If you keep in mind the importance of family and the meaning of the holiday season, you’ll be on your way to lowering those stress levels just in time for those holiday dinners that are sure to be filled with delicious food, lots of laughs, and time well-spent with your loved ones.