10 Secrets to De-Stress Your Holiday, Part 5

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1. Make-ahead meals and no cooking required appetizers
2. Planning a workable menu and advance preparation
3. Decorate for less
4. Setting up for success
5. Get what you really need

This next secret is something I am continually learning and trying to practice. I am one who often just likes to “do it ALL myself” as then it is just the way I like it and want it. I am learning that there is also great value and joy in letting go and allowing others to help and asking for help even if I don’t necessarily need it. Everyone needs a chance to be involved. Here is how to start and create more way for success.

9. Delegate

Delegate

It’s easy to try and be that super woman attempting to do it all, but there are times we all could use a little help. If a guest asks, allow them to help.  Even if it is just bringing a bag of ice or a bottle of wine, it is a way for them to participate and give as well; don’t deny them that opportunity.

The biggest pitfall in asking for help and delegating is being clear in your request. Often, we think we are clear but the other person may hear or think something completely different. I once asked my brother to help fold the laundry, and he did, but his interpretation of “fold the laundry” was to take every item and simply fold it in half. I had to laugh, as I could not get upset with him, for he did exactly what I asked. He folded the laundry, it just did not look as I had expected.

If you ask someone to bring a dish to share, let them know what you need.  A sweet or savory main dish or side? Should it come ready to serve or can they prep it when they get to the location? What time do you need it? Be clear and specific. The more details left out, the more area for misinterpretation, confusion, stress and disappointment by both parties. Go one step further and ask them to write it down, then repeat back what they are going to do. This helps reinforce the commitment in their mind and helps you both know that you understand what is expected.

10. Take Care of YOURSELF

The holidays are times for everyone to enjoy, that means you too. With all the running around, events, gifts and taking care of others, it can leave very little time for you. It is truly impossible to care for others well when you have not cared for yourself first. Think realistically about what you are committing to, how much you really want to be involved, and what a great holiday looks like to you, then plan accordingly. If something does not fit for you, instead of trying to squeeze it all in to make everyone else happy, have the power and respect for yourself to say no. The holiday will still be wonderful if you choose not to attend that cookie exchange, volunteer for the kids’ class party, or make everything from scratch.

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Be clear and honest with yourself, ask for help and do what is important to you. Do something for yourself: maybe just 5 minute of quiet time with coffee in the morning, a yoga class, getting your nails done or taking a weekend away with your husband. Do what you need without guilt and without being attached to the holidays looking a specific way. Trust that everything will be perfect and it will. By taking care of yourself, others will be happier as well.

Wishing you and your family the very Happiest Holiday Season,

Rachel

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