Archive for the ‘Christmas Health’ Category

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How to Have a Stress-Free Merry Christmas

Everyone has some stress in his or her life. Some days, that stress can balloon up until it feels like you’re staggering beneath the weight. Holidays have always been a major cause of anxiety but you can finally learn how to have a stress-free Christmas.

Holiday stress comes from many different directions. It comes from wanting to travel to see extended family and having to do the million and one things to get ready for a trip – washing clothes, packing the suitcases, and finding someone to care for pets. Then there’s the shopping for gifts, food preparations, and late night holiday to-do tasks that never seem to end. Sound like you’ve been there before?

Christmas doesn’t have to be a hectic, stressful holiday. If it has been for you in years past, then it’s time to make some changes, and stop the stress before it has a chance to start this year.

Not only is stress not good for your health, but it’s also not good for others who deal with stressed out people! The holidays are meant to be slowly enjoyed, not rushed through trying to pack as much as we can into every moment and get everything just right. The meaning of Christmas has disappeared beneath an onslaught of activities and gift buying. It’s time to fix that.

Narrow your focus. We take on too many responsibilities and then feel overwhelmed (and stressed and sometimes short tempered) at all we have to accomplish within a given time limit.

Spend your time and energy on what matters to you and your family and let go of the things that don’t. There’s no such thing as a perfect holiday. If your family doesn’t care if you make every party you’re invited to, then don’t go.

Learn to delegate chores. You can’t clean an entire home alone for the arrival of company if you’re trying to get all of the cooking and baking done, too. Enlist family members to help and if they can’t, splurge on a maid service to do the holiday cleaning for you. Make it a gift you give yourself to help you maintain a stress-free Christmas.

Get organized. You need a master checklist. Knowing what you need to get done will help keep your focus. Keep all of your Christmas supplies organized and together – the tape, scissors, nametags, and gift-wrap. You’ll save time if you don’t have to constantly search for what you need. Eliminate any last minute running around for forgotten items at the store by making a list.

Throughout the year, finances can be a major cause of stress but that stress can grow during the holidays due to overspending. People don’t overspend at Christmas because they’re bad people. They overspend because they want to give. But when the holiday is over and those bills roll in, it can take a toll. Instead, stick to a spending limit this Christmas.

Just as importantly as sticking to a budget is sticking to a time limit. It’s no fun rushing around, trying to cram months’ worth of visiting loved ones into a few days. Know ahead of time who you’ll visit, on what day and what time you should leave. Making a list takes some of the spontaneity out of it, but it also helps you enjoy a stress-free Christmas too!

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How to Have a Green Christmas for Eco-Conscious People

Help the environment have a Merry Christmas this year, too. With a few thoughtful, green steps, you can have a delightful holiday and rest easy knowing you did your part to help save the earth’s resources.

If you’ve always purchased a live tree every year, you can still get a live tree and stay true to your green way of living. Just don’t buy a tree that’s been cut at all. Instead, pick out a tree with the roots still hanging on.

You’ll find trees like this with the roots wrapped carefully to preserve them or you’ll find them in a large container. They’ll be just a bit heavier, so watch your back when you lift them. Once the celebration is over, you can make the tree part of your landscaping. If that’s not an option for you, then look to buy a tree that’s organically grown. You can find tree sellers that don’t promote the use of pesticides on their trees.

When you get the tree home and it’s time to put the lights on, decorate the tree with the LED lights that are now available. You can’t tell the difference in LED lights from traditional lights as far as looks go yet they are helping to conserve the earth’s energy by saving power. Use recycled ornaments on the tree. The kids can get involved by making ornaments out of objects you have around the house.

When it’s time to start on your Christmas list, for the items you do have to buy, make you carry the reusable shopping bags along and leave the plastic ones at the store. Make sure you buy gifts that don’t require extra accessories to be used.

For wrapping the gifts you did buy, don’t use retail purchased paper. Make your own paper instead. You can use the pages from last year’s calendar, brown paper bags decorated with cut out designs or you can use the colorful newspaper inserts. You can also skip paper wrapping altogether and wrap your Christmas gifts with fabric you’ve sewn together. Tie the top with a string of jute and a sprig of holly.

Not every gift has to be store bought. Some of the best gifts are homemade. Breads, jellies, crocheted blankets and hand knitted sweaters all make great gifts without contributing to landfill waste.

Even better than some home made gifts are regifted ones. If you have a gift you didn’t want or can’t use, wrap it and pass it to someone who will use it and let it be known that you’d like regifted presents as well.

Forget the plastic dishes and utensils at parties and use real dishes instead. When it’s time to dine, light candles and turn off the electricity for an even better green Christmas. And go ahead and enjoy your outside Christmas displays, but be sure and use a timer that will turn the lights off at a prearranged time.

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How to Make Christmas Day Special and Less Hectic

There’s always a lot to do on Christmas Day from the time you step foot out of bed until the moment you collapse back into it that night. It seems like you get up with on fast speed and you just don’t get to slow down even for a minute.  You want to know how to make Christmas day special but it seems so hard with everything going on.

Don’t get so caught up in the social events of Christmas Day that you forget about the reason why we celebrate the holiday to start with. We celebrate Christmas Day by spending time with the people we care about, but if we’re not careful, the people who mean the most to us can get lost in the shuffle. Sure, the presents are nice and the food is great, but that’s not all there is to Christmas Day.

We get so busy visiting all the extended family members on both sides every Christmas Day that we forget to spend time with the ones in our own home. Set aside a block of time just for your family – your significant other, your children, whoever you share your home with.

Just write even an hour into your schedule. You’ll get time to spend with them as well as a break to recharge your batteries. Have a nice, simple meal together and listen to holiday music playing softly in the background.

During the time spent with your family, you can play a game, catch up on one another’s lives or spend time going through the year via the photographs you’ve taken and just reminiscing. Looking through old pictures reminds us of the good times we’ve had, the troubles we’ve overcome, and the joy of being a family.

Refuse to cave in to the stress of knowing you have a lot to get done. Instead, keep your attention focused on one step at a time. Stress happens during Christmas but you don’t have to let it take over.

Don’t rush through visiting the people you’d like to see. Make sure your schedule allows an equal amount of time for both sides of the family. Always begin your Christmas Day visiting by seeing the people you’d like to see first and then moving down the list.

Instead of gathering in large groups and centering on food and talking, get involved as a group doing something for others. If you can’t do something physically for others on Christmas Day, such as helping out at a shelter, do something financial on Christmas day.

Have each family member make a contribution to a charity, to a children’s home or to a struggling family in the community. Everyone can write a brief note and then drop the notes and the contributions off. It’ll warm the hearts of both the giver and the receiver.

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