5 Tips for Preparing for the Holidays
We all know planning ahead can help ease the stress of holiday preparation. Here are five tips to make your preparations more efficient and peaceful.
Pack in plastic. Packing lunches and getting children ready for school in the midst of holiday cleaning and cooking can put a mom over the top. If you’re like me, I typically pack lunches in reusable containers. But, when the holidays approach, the extra dishes to wash are something I like to cross off my to-do list. I have four children, and their reusable containers add up. Give yourself permission to pack in plastic or some other throw-away material. I know I do.
Set aside your non-essential tasks. As the holidays approach, take a look at your daily and weekly rhythms. It’s time to do a little adjusting. Some of those weekly tasks aren’t necessary when you are stretched for time. What is it that you can give up? Turn your five loads of laundry into three, washing only the essential items. Make your meals in the crockpot and lighten your dishwashing load. Skip the car wash altogether.
Organize. Most moms I know are stellar when it comes to organizing. But, it’s time to buckle down and give it our best effort. Make a list. Check it twice. Buffer your time schedule, knowing that tasks always take longer than anticipated. Don’t crowd too many to-do’s into one day. Think broadly - not just about food and guests. Do your children have the clothes they need? Who is doing the cleaning and what needs to be done? How about the food shopping? Do not neglect one area because you are overly focused on another. Look at the big picture.
Anticipate If motherhood teaches us anything, it is to anticipate unexpected events. Be prepared for changes and alterations to the big plan. Someone’s going to get sick. Your uncle is going to decide to come at the last minute. The store will not have that one ingredient. If you know something will go wrong, you will not be as upset when it happens. Anticipate and delegate. Have a back-up plan. Know who you can call on and don’t hesitate to call on them.
Self Care. Why is it that during stressful, busy times we let go of the our personal care habits? No time to exercise or do your morning meditation? Find yourself grabbing tortilla chips and chocolate for lunch? Stop right there. The upcoming holidays are exactly the time to beef up your self-care habits. Do more for yourSelf during the holidays, and you’ll have more time, increased ease, and greater productivity. Whatever you do, do not neglect yourSelf.
The holidays are a wonderful time of the year. They are supposed to be filled with joy, and they can be if you take care of yourSelf and prepare properly.
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