Holiday seasons are not only stressful, but can lead to a slippery slope of congested chaos. A popular suggestion most of my clients adapt is preparation for following year. How does this help with the current situation? It makes is easy since dealing with the today’s of the season can start to prepare you for next years concurrently.
Organizing your holiday cards and return address – once you receive the card immediately place the envelope in an alphabetized accordion file. This will help you build your address data base either pen or electronic.
Managing Gift wrap recyclables – Before the ceremony of gift opening commences plan a head with a few boxes with lids (www.containerstore.com) has some great options) with labels for the following; Ribbons/Bows, Tissue paper, gift tag ornaments, etc. Instruct your family once a package is opened to place the item in the assigned box. Afterword it is a simple clean up, place the lids on the boxes and store for next years gift wrapping season. This will make it easier and you will be green!
Parties & Planning – Everyone enjoys being invited to a party. However, the holiday season can cause you to overextend yourself only adding to the stress. It is best to uses a larges desk calendar for the month of December (have it accessible in November) Start to map out your season including school performance, shopping excursions, day to get cards out, post office, etc. This will help you start to get an overall visual of the month. Furthermore, it will assist your family in understanding what lies ahead. Remember to map out time for routine items such as exercise and regularly scheduled events. As the invitations roll in you will be able to immediately know how to respond and prevent unnecessary stress. Always remember to respond promptly to an invite and if you are unable to attend a friend’s event try and send them a card of support to arrive around the actual party date.
Cooking & Kitchen – The key is preparation and time management. Holiday cooking sometimes requires the use of rarely used utensils. It is best to make sure you plan out your meal well in advance and do a quick inventory of the items needed. For the meal and time management write out all of the dishes and the timeframe it will take (consider resting times) then work backwards from when you would like to eat. This will assist you with making everything is served at your desired temperature.
For further assistance organizing your kitchen there is a chapter dedicated in our new book, A Recipe for Life by the Doctor’s Dietitian.