De-stress the holidays right now

By Erika Weisensee, Oregon Writer

Sadly, for many women, the holiday season is synonymous with stress—a time that requires decorating, baking, buying, socializing, hosting, and so much more. But the holidays can and should be about joy. Here are some tips for reducing stress during the holiday season.

– Plan Ahead
If possible, do some of the work ahead of time. For instance, bake cookies early and freeze them. Start gift buying early and save money by planning shopping around sales.

– Simplify
Simple can be elegant. Simplify meals by focusing on a handful of delicious dishes rather than a smorgasbord of endless options. Simplify your schedule by saving non-essential dental, doctor and other appointments for after Jan. 1.

– Do something special that warms your heart
Whether you make time to attend a holiday concert, get together with old friends, or donate to a charity, do something that makes you feel good.

– Pamper yourself
If you can sneak in a massage, hair appointment or other take-care-of-you experience, good for you!

– Ask for help
I know some great hostesses who ask for a little help. Take it from a frequent salad and dessert maker, us able-bodied dinner guests are happy to contribute. So, just ask.

– Don’t overbook
It is impossible to attend every event. Decide on the most important, politely decline the others, and enjoy the ones you do attend.

– Remember what matters most.
This above all else is key to a joyful holiday season.

— Erika Weisensee is a writing mom. She teaches writing and communication courses at the University of Portland.

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