5 Steps to a Stress-Free Holiday

holidays!The holidays are upon us and while that usually means fun and happiness, it also means stress for many of us. Worrying about cooking, baking, cleaning, dealing with family, shopping, money and more can make a joyous time seem more like a burden. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays and feel burnt out, so I wanted to give you some tips on helping making this holiday a little more stress free.


First things first…you aren’t super woman and you don’t have to do it all. Women often find themselves trapped in thinking they must do everything and do it all perfectly. We struggle to ask for help, delegate tasks and take breaks. I’m here to tell you this doesn’t work. Whether it’s the holidays or any time of year you don’t have to be superwoman, so time to hang up your cape. Use the holidays as a time to challenge yourself to ask for help, get the family involved in meal preparation, and set boundaries. If you don’t set boundaries and learn to say no sometimes you will end up feeling like the Grinch.


Second, take time to plan and I mean plan everything. Whether you are cooking all of Thanksgiving dinner or just one dish, write down your recipe, ingredients needed, and schedule time shop and bake/cook. If you are hosting a holiday meal/party write a list of everything you need to do to prep and then delegate to members of your household or those coming to your home for the celebration. People like to help; you just need to ask them. Your family, friends and children want to be involved, you just have to let them know what you need and give them the time and space to do so.


Third, let go. When you delegate tasks of course be specific about how you want it done, but you also need to let go a bit. No one is going to wash dishes like you, vacuum like you or cook a certain dish like you, but that’s okay. Letting others help you and letting go of control isn’t easy, but it will allow you more time and freedom to enjoy the Holidays.


Fourth, budget! I know budgeting isn’t fun, but it keeps you on track and on top of your finances and financial goals. If you haven’t set a Christmas gift budget, a food budget, and gift/party/decorating supplies budget, I highly recommend you sitting down to do so ASAP. Budgeting allows you to tell your money where to go and keeps things from getting out of control and making January finances a nightmare.


Fifth, now that you have a money budget, you also can benefit from budgeting your time. This goes hand in hand with not trying to be superwoman. Make sure you set boundaries with your time and don’t over book yourself. Say no to engagements that just won’t work with your schedule and free time you have. And make time for yourself to just sit, relax and do whatever you need to decompress.


And last but not least, take care of your body & mind. Move, rest and eat. No you don’t need to burn off that Turkey with a crazy workout or get in as much working out as you can before the holidays, and no you don’t need to restrict calories or diet to take care of your body. Do activities that make you feel good, keep your regular training schedule if possible, feed yourself nourishing food, sleep, stay hydrated and enjoy some treats. With all the chaos of the holidays doing simple things like getting an extra hour of sleep or eating when you are hungry can make the world of difference in staying happy and healthy through the holidays.


While there is no avoiding that the Holidays comes with some level of stress, if you can implement what I mentioned you can keep some of that stress at bay. Don’t let the busyness of the holidays ruin your time off, making memories with family and friends, eating good food and having fun. Happy Holidays everyone!

Jessica Storch, MA is a boxing coach, personal trainer, health coach and owner of Knockout Women's Boxing Club in Westmont, IL. Her mission is to empower women to be their best through the sport of boxing. She promotes a health focused mentality and encourages women to let go of the diet mentality. Jessica believes weight loss doesn't equal health and works with women to support them in building healthy lifestyles and happy lives.