The holidays can be an incredibly stressful time for working parents. Many of us work 8-10 hour days. Fitting in shopping, wrapping, baking, school parties, addressing Christmas cards, and fighting off the holiday party weight leaves little time for relaxation. Below are six suggestions for reducing the inevitable holiday stress.
1. Shop online. The majority of my Christmas shopping was completed through overstock.com, Amazon, and Restaurant.com. I found these sites offered great variety, easy searches, excellent discounts, and free shipping. I finished my holiday shopping at my desk during the lunch break.
2. Let someone else handle the Christmas cards. Through sites like Hallmark.com you can design and order your cards online. Hallmark will even address and ship your Christmas cards for you.
3. Practice Office Yoga. My coworkers can often find me sitting at my desk in lotus pose. Darrin Zeer posts regular relaxation exercises on Twitter. You can follow him on Twitter @OfficeYoga.
4. Buy pre-made cookie dough. As much as I love traditional baking my schedule rarely allows for a full day of baking. I buy pre-made cookie dough and then have my kids decorate the cookies when complete. This saves on prep and clean up time.
5. Lace up a pair of sneakers and hit the mall. If you do find yourself thrown into the chaos of mall shopping, wear sneakers and power walk the stores. Remember to take the stairs and bypass Starbucks. The more packages you have to carry, the better the workout. You can benefit from the weight of the bags or from the trips back and forth to the car.
6. Throw a non-traditional office Christmas party. Instead of the seasonal Christmas party where employees are asked to bring in a gift for an exchange, host a wrapping party. Ask employees to bring in one roll of wrapping paper each. During the party everyone can chat while wrapping some of their Christmas presents.
I love the holidays but prefer to forgo the stress of the season. In what ways do you eliminate the fervor of the Christmas season?
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