holiday stress
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  • Healthy Holiday Helpers

    The Holiday Season is starting with parties, family gatherings and lots of goodies too! With all the activities and extra things to do, it is tempting to just grab anything handy to eat on the go! Oh no, what do I do?

    Here are some healthy holiday helpers to keep yourself on track with your health goals:

    • Plan ahead, bring water and food with you when Lunchyou are out and about doing your errands or traveling.

    • Each time you prepare a meal, make twice as much and freeze in portions to be ready for your next busy day.

    • champageMake ‘water’ your friend. For every cup of caffeine or alcohol you consume, drink two glasses of water.

    • Added 3-5 drops of doTERRA Grapefruit or Slim & Sassy Blend essential oils to your glass of water. This will help to curb your appetite and give you a refreshing lift in energy and mood. Get them HERE

    • Eat at regular times throughout the day, don’t ‘save up’ for the dinner party. 

    • Don’t stand near the appetizer or the buffet table. Take just a little and walk away to the other side of the room.christmas pudding with custard --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

    • Alternate your indulgences. Have a dessert at one party, but no appetizers or alcohol, then switch it up for the next party. 

    • Enjoy small portions of those ‘Special Foods’ that you associate with the Holidays & pass by those that you can get anytime of the year.

    • tastingWhen baking or creating your favorite recipe, watch out for the ‘tasting’. Those calories can really add up, even the “healthy” tastes. Put the mixing bowls in the sink right away under running water.

    • Get your sleep. 7 – 8 hours each night will help you to be more focused, have more energy AND get what needs to get done faster and better. When you’re tired you lose willpower and give in to your cravings. When you are rested you make better decisions in every part of your life.

    • If you find your energy level dipping or your clothes getting a journalingbit snugger, immediately start tracking everything that passes
      your lips. Do it diligently, EVERY day! It will help you realize just what you are doing or not doing.

    Do you find the holidays a bit overwhelming at times? Check out my blog “De-Stressing” the Holidays for more helpful hints.

    Sending Blessings your way for a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year,

    Kathy

    November 20, 2015 • Essential Oils, Healthy Hints • Views: 710

  • De-STRESSing the Holidays with Meal Shortcuts

    I thought you might also like some meal shortcuts. I use most of these all year long but even I need a reminder especially during during this upcoming time of year!

    In my previous post I shared some of the things I do to De-Stress the Holiday Over Load between Halloween and New Year’s Day. Check it out HERE. Click HERE to learn about using essential oils to help with de-stressing the Holidays or anytime of the year.

     

    As a general rule, I have to remind myself that I just can’t do it all AND remain sane. family cleaningSo I now have others in the household share in the daily & seasonal chores. If they can do a job 75% as well as I do it, then they can do it. Unless of course it is to dangerous or personal.

    My Meal Shortcuts

    • EVERY time you make a meal or snack – make twice as much. Store the extra for a time when you are rushed. With this you are more likely to stay with your health & weight goals. 

    Do you dread playing hostess, doing all that cooking, making sure your house looks “perfect,” worrying about having enough space for guests to sit or mingle?

    • Revive the potluck. Ask everyone to bring a holiday favorite. You supply the wine, cocoa, and/or gingerbread men
    • Do as much prep work ahead of time as possible.
    • Delegate parts of the meal out to your guests, asking them to bring side dishes, desserts, drinks, etc.
    • Make a list of all your necessary Holiday dishes and baking, then determine from there what can be made in advance, or at least what prep work you can Chopping-foodget done early. That list will come in handy when grocery shopping too.
    • Before putting items away, chop up all vegetables, like those for stuffing or side
      dishes. Or at least store them all together so you eliminate the time searching. 
    • Combine all spices needed for dishes, like your favorite pie, in advance to cut out the time spent measuring.
    • Most side dishes can be cooked the day before, and warmed through the day of. Other holiday essentials, like cranberry sauce can be made weeks intappo_crowd-430x287 advance and frozen.

    If all else fails EAT OUT. Make having a festive dinner at a restaurant your new holiday-season tradition — no cleanup!

    Remember the most important thing is to enjoy your time with family and friends!

    Kathy

    Kathy@kathyskinner.com

    October 15, 2015 • Healthy Hints, Recipes • Views: 555

  • De-STRESSing the Holidays

    Since moving to the Northwest, I find that I really enjoy all the seasons even more than before. Each one brings something special. But more and more over the years it seems that Fall never lasts as long as the other seasons. Maybe it’s because of all the marketing for the holidays happens earlier and earlier each year. When I was young, it was taboo to have anything even in the stores for Christmas before Thanksgiving!

    Halloween-decorationThe Holidays can be stressful, that period of Halloween through New Year Day. Our ‘To-Do’ list can sometimes seem overwhelming. When I start feeling the panic of it all, I have learned to take several deep breathes and then begin to revisit my priorities. It always amazes me at how off track I can get due to pressures of society and well intended family and friends. Here are some things I have done to simplify so I can really enjoy this special time of the year. 

    The Basics:

    • Keep expectations for the season manageable.
    • Organize your time and make a list and prioritize the activities that really matter.praying hands
    • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do.
    • And remember to schedule some down time to relax and take care of yourself.

    O.K., I know what you’re thinking. That last bullet point might sound counterproductive during what’s supposed to be a season of loving your fellow man. But believe me it is REALLY important! 

    Regularly giving yourself time to regroup, without distractions, gives you both energy and calm. That means you will be more fun to be around AND you will be able to focus better, therefore accomplishing more in less time

    • exerciseGet your sleep, exercise, water & eat healthy. Having a small snack between meals can help to keep your stamina and mood up, so aim to eat something 4-5 times a day
    • Before answering an invitation or building a gingerbread house, Check in with your body first, every time pause to notice how you feel. Are you excited or tense, relaxed or head-achy, calm or vaguely nauseated. If you’re not good to go, don’t do it. And don’t worry about what others will think.
    • Say “yes” to the bigger gatherings. Attending events where you’ll see lots of faces in a short period really helps me feel less obligated to attend lots of smaller events over successive evenings. Big parties can be exhausting, but then you’re done.  

    New-Year-Party-Eve-Tips-Ideas7

    • Take a mid-party break. Step outside. Look up at the stars. Or Find a quiet corner where you can listen to music alone for a few minutes or do some deep breathing, even if it’s just in the bathroom.

    De-stress the gift giving

    I don’t know about you, but I find gift shopping very stressful. All the tips below are ones I have done ( still do many) and they have all been received well.

    • Give the gift of experience. Tickets to a sporting event or arts performance, a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, membership to a zoo or museum. Bonus: One-stop shopping. You can give the same gift to many recipients.
    • gift certificateGive the gift of your presence. Make coupons for activities you can share with an older or younger relative: shopping or fishing outings, regular ice cream parlor visits, time to read together or play cards together. Young parents might like babysitting favors. Older adults might welcome drives in the country.
    • Give uniformly. Find a single gift that works for all the adult relatives or business associates on your list (a food or ornament souvenir from a favorite destination or your hometown) and another for all the kids (iTunes gift cards are a safe bet).
    • Give a handmade holiday.  Try burning CDs, a photo calendar or mug, making spaghetti sauce, baking, crafting, drawing, and so on. It’s amazing how creative even non-“handy” people can get.

    De-stress the Decorating

    All those lights, all that razzle-dazzle — it takes effort, not to mention energy and resources. Downshifting to a more ecologically friendly holiday is a simple way to get a simpler look.

    • Put up just a few lights or better, Skip the lights in front of the house (and maybe even the tree). Fewer watts to burn, fewer strings for you to get tangled in.
    • Decorate with natural elementsFill bowls with pinecones or clove studded oranges. Bring red berry &/ or pine branches indoors (or snip boughs from the christmas-tree-branches-lg bottom of the tree). Bonus: No hauling boxes of decorations down from the attic. When the season ends, you can just pitch everything on the compost pile.
    • Wrap gifts in paper you already have on hand. Ordinary newsprint or paper grocery bags look festive tied with string in red or silver. No newsprint in this digital age? Try recycling some of those holiday catalog pages for smaller gifts.

     

    De-stress Traditions

    At the root of a lot of holiday stress is feeling the need to do certain things, in a certain way, in the name of tradition. Maybe you want to please aging parents or carry on in their memory. Or maybe your focus is on creating the same traditions, so your kids will know them, too. Either way, the effort often creates more stress (for you) than bliss.

    • Don’t assume, ask. Find out which parts of the holiday truly mean the most to your loved ones. You might be surprised by what others really like. Caroling? A special feast? Baking together? Driving around to look at the lights andMother and daughter baking cookiesdecorations? Keep one or two of those traditions — period — and do them up.
    • Shift your focus. Decide to make happy memories, rather than continue traditions for tradition’s sake. The more relaxed an event, the more likely everyone will want to keep it up, making future holidays easier, too.

    Shifting the focus away from so-called ‘obligations’ to what really matters to those you love and care about will make for a happier next couple of months filled with precious memories.

    Get Meal Shortcut Tips HERE

    To help with De-Stressing the Holidays with Essential Oils click HERE

     

    Share your favorite traditions below,

    Kathy

    October 13, 2015 • Healthy Hints, Mind Managing • Views: 790

  • 12 Way to De-Stress the Holidays

    The Holidays are here and causing this to be a stressful time for many. Family and friends are coming in to visit, there are parties to go to, meals to prepare, a lot of shopping to do; the list goes on and on. Give yourself a gift and check out the list below for ways to remove some of the stress and put back in more of the Holiday Cheer. – It won’t take long to look this over – I promise!

    12 WAYS TO DE-STRESS THE HOLIDAYS

    1.  It might seem counterproductive to cram in time for yourself during what’s supposed to be a season of giving and loving others.  But gifting yourself with regular time to regroup, without distractions, gives you both energy and calm — making you more fun to be around AND you will be able to focus better therefore accomplishing more in less time.

    2.   Get your sleep, exercise, water & healthy eating. Do this last one 4-5 times a day

    cookie-exchange-invitations-2  3.   Before answering an invitation to an event or even a casual activity; check in with your body first, to notice how you feel. Are you excited or tense, relaxed or headachy, calm or vaguely nauseated. If you’re not good to go, don’t go. Don’t worry about what others will think. And if you do simply say, “I’m not sure, check back with me in a couple days.” Chances are very good they won’t and you will be off the hook!

    Have a mile-long gift list that you can’t seem to pare? Dread the jammed mall? Simplify gift giving with a little creative thinking that emphasizes people over stuff.

    4.   Give the gift of experience. Tickets to a sporting event or arts performance, a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, membership to a zoo or museum. This can become a gift to yourself with one-stop shopping when you give the same gift to many recipients.

    white-red-presents.jpg

    5.   Give the present of your presence. This is one of my favorite ways to give! It reduces stress of doing it now and it spreads out the giving, receiving and FUN over many months. Make coupons for activities you can share with an older or younger relative: shopping or fishing outings, regular ice cream parlor visits, time to read together or play cards together. Young parents might like babysitting favors. Older adults might welcome drives in the country.

    I even made up the certificate for you Click to get your Holiday Gift Certificate , my gift to YOU!

    6.   Give a handmade holiday.  Try burning CDs, making movies, making spaghetti sauce, baking, almonds in jar spicedcrafting, drawing, and so on. It’s amazing how creative even non-“handy” people can get.

    Need something quick AND easy? Check out my Roasted Nut Recipe HERE   

     

    All those lights, all that razzle-dazzle — it takes effort, not to mention energy and resources. This year simplify.

    7.   Put up just a few lights or better, Skip the lights in front of the house — and maybe even the tree. Fewer watts to burn, fewer strings for you to get tangled in.

    8.   Decorate with natural elements. Fill bowls with pinecones or clove studded oranges. Bring red berry &/ or pine branches indoors (or snip boughs from the bottom of the tree). When the season ends, you can just pitch everything on the compost pile.

    A lot of holiday stress is rooted in the name of tradition. You know doing certain things, in a certain way.

    9.   Find out which parts of the holiday truly means the most to your loved ones. You might be surprised by what others really like. Is it caroling? A special feast? Driving around to look at the lights and decorations? Keep one or two of those traditions — period — and do them up! Shift your focus. Decide to make happy memories, rather than continue traditions for tradition’s sake. The more relaxed an event, the more likely everyone will want to keep it up, making future holidays easier, too.

    10. Take a look at your daily and seasonal chores. Start delegating. If a person (children included) can do a job 75% as well as you do it, then they can do it. Unless of course it is to dangerous/ personal.

    11.  This short-cut I use all year round! – EVERY time you make a meal or snack – make twice as much and store the extra for a time you are rushed. This gift to yourself will definitely help you to more likely stay with your health & weight goals.

    12.  Take a little time to plan ahead which will save you a lot of time and
    stress!
    • Make a list of everything needed for your meals (this can also become your shopping list).
    • Before putting away the groceries, chop up what is needed for a recipe.
    • Make as many dishes as far in advance a possible.
    What do you do to reduce the holiday stress load??? Would love to see you comments!
    Blessing for a Healthy and Merry Christmas!
    Kathy

    December 12, 2014 • Healthy Hints, Mind Managing • Views: 1290