Recipe For A Happy & Stress-Free Holiday Season

1. Plan everything in advance
Taking care of the things on your to-do list in the last minute always brings more stress! So make sure to make your holiday planning in advance. For example, try to buy all the gifts before the start of December. The deals on Black Friday are perfect for finding awesome gifts at great prices. I always make a list on Amazon where I gather gift ideas throughout the year. When Black Friday comes, I only need to check the list and see what product have great discounts. This makes things a lot easier for me, and it also helps with keeping the budget under control.

2. Start the day with yourself. I love kicking off a busy holiday with an early morning Barre3 class or hike with my dog, it’s the perfect way to gather my thoughts for the day and center myself. I’ll go for a hike up the trails in my backyard here in Austin, no matter what, it’s important to me to start the day feeling healthy, balanced, and grateful. New workout gear is another way to get or stay motivated:

3. Let go of perfection and accept “good enough.”
If you are a perfectionist like I was (and I still am sometimes) this can be a challenging task. But letting go of perfection will bring so much joy in your life! You will not worry anymore about all the things that you “should do,” and you’ll have more time for the things that you really want to do. Your house doesn’t have to look perfect. Your meals don’t have to look like those awesome meals you see on Pinterest.

The truth is that your family doesn’t need perfection. They need you to be happy and present! This is all that really matters: the happy moments that you enjoy with your loved ones.

4. Say “YES!” to the fun
Don’t let the tasks on your list steal the joy of Christmas! Start the holiday season with a bucket list and make sure to do little things that make your family happy every day!

5. Schedule time to relax in the midst of the holiday rush
With so many activity ideas and holiday tasks, it’s easy to overschedule every day. But this only makes Christmas more stressful! So make sure to add relaxing activities to your schedule, so you don’t exhaust by the end of the holiday season. The easiest way to do this is to plan a “distraction-free” hour every evening. During that hour don’t plan any activities and shut down any distractions. You’ll be amazed at how beneficial this can be for the whole family!

6. Create a Holiday Bucket List
There are plenty of holiday activity ideas that you can find online but this doesn’t mean that they are right for your family. Instead of choosing “traditional” activities that you don’t fully enjoy try this: At the end of November create a holiday bucket list. Invite all the family members to come up with ideas and decide on one easy activity to do together every day until Christmas.

7. Dress for ease and comfort. If I’m going to be hopping in and out of the car from morning ‘till night, you better believe I’m going to be comfortable while doing it. I like to dress up just a little, with an easy dress, walkable boots, and lots of layers to stay warm and cozy.

8. Simplify gift buying

Here are some alternatives that are a lot less stressful:

Write down gift ideas for everyone on your list ahead of time. If possible find online stores that sell them so you avoid crowded stores. Bookmark the links to every gift and save all the links in a file on your computer.

On Black Friday or Cyber Monday check out all the links and take advantage of any discounts that the stores are offering.

Set a goal to buy all the gifts before December 1st. This will allow you to enter the holiday season a lot more relaxed knowing that you’ve prepared all the gifts.

Here are some of the gift ideas I have in my shopping cart this year: