Tips for Reducing Stress this Holiday Season

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Embarking on another holiday season can be exciting, scary, or a healthy mixture of both. Whether you’re simply bringing grandma’s perfect pecan pie to a relative’s house or hosting an entire event yourself, here are some comforting tips to help keep you sane.

Adjust your perspective. Perhaps the most influential aspect of the holiday experience is how you respond to it. You get to create the atmosphere, not the other way around.

Prepare food in advance. Pre-measure ingredients for baked items in advance. Later, simply combine the pre-measured ingredients and bake. Any items that can be stored easily without losing flavor can be made ahead of time. For example, try preparing the ingredients for the pizza recipe on page 11 ahead of time.

Stay healthy. Treat yourself well. Set out a veggie tray to snack on while you are preparing holiday dishes; this can help reduce temptations that are sure to come. Forget the frappuccino and sip some tea. When you make desserts, avoid sampling as you go. Stay hydrated by keeping a glass of water close by at all times – hydration is essential for mental health. Eat slowly – this helps your brain recognize how full your tummy is long before you overstuff yourself.

Stick to a budget.  Estimate your holiday expenditures in advance and try to stick to your budget. Include an emergency fund in case your favorite aunt decides to show up last minute with a hankering for the eggnog you didn’t buy. Avoiding money stress will help you stay calm during celebrations.

Exercise. It’s important to make some time for a physical break. Keep it simple. Take a walk, or play an active game outside. Exercise is a proven mood booster and stress reducer.

Put down the phone. You’ll want pictures, so dig out that real camera a few days before the event and put it somewhere easy to grab. You can post to social media after the event – any need you feel to post immediately is in your own mind and could add more stress. Engage with the people around you. Be present. If you need your phone, turn off notifications to reduce distractions.

Give yourself a break. If dinner has to be served later than planned, no one will starve. Chances are there will be plenty of snacks around. Plan breaks in advance and set timed reminders. Take a few minutes to be alone to meditate or just breathe deeply.

Embrace mistakes. You may burn the mashed potatoes again for the sixth year in a row, and that’s alright! Play, have fun and joke around. It will put others at ease. Let yourself laugh and don’t stop. Stress cannot survive a good laughing fit!

The holidays can be hectic, and I hope these tips will help reduce anxiety. Remember to embrace every opportunity to enjoy the season!   

art-1216-tips2Cali’Apple Bacon Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cali’Red Pepper Pizza Crust – from Cali’Flour foods
  • ½ green apple, sliced very thin
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ½ sprig rosemary, removed from stems
  •  1 Tablespoon feta cheese dressing
  • 3 Slices bacon, crumbled
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons blue cheese crumbles

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • Cover baking sheet with parchment paper (not wax paper) or use a pizza stone.
  • Bake your Cali’Red Pepper pizza crust for 5 minutes with no toppings.
  • While your pizza crust is baking, saute apple slices in any type of oil or butter to soften.
  • Remove pizza crust from oven.
  • Spread feta cheese dressing evenly on pizza crust.
  • Sprinkle bacon pieces over the dressing.
  • Add blue cheese crumbles.
  • Place chopped onion and sautéed apples over the bacon.
  • Sprinkle rosemary and parmesan cheese evenly over the apples.
  • Bake at 350º F for 12-14 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes prior to slicing and enjoy!

Recipe: http://www.califlourfoods.com

Amy Lacey
About Amy Lacey

Amy Lacey is a certified health coach for Take Shape For Life. She is co-founder of Cali’flour Foods, a mother of three, and is about to launch a campaign to help busy women with meal planning. Learn more at: www.livethelifestyle.net.

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