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Smart Design With Suzette: 7 Tips For A Stress Free Holiday Season

on December 14, 2018 - 8:50am

Don’t stress! Ask for help this holiday season. Courtesy image

Learn how to feel balanced, happy and stress-free this holiday season. Courtesy image

Los Alamos

It’s the holiday season and with the holidays comes to stress. Each year we feel a mix of joy and anxiety. It’s no secret that things can get overwhelming. According to a survey by Healthline, 62 percent of people said their stress level increases during the holiday season.

We experience a combination of stressors related to financial costs of the holidays, family coming to stay and the conflicts it may bring, and the stress of trying to have the perfect meal and holiday all together.

If you’re one of those people who feel the pressure of the holidays, here are seven tips to help feel balanced, happy and stress-free.

1. Make a to-do list.
Maybe you have a mental list of everything you need to do and when you need to do it. But it helps to have a written list or calendar to see the big picture. The point of this is to see everything in one place so you can get an idea everything that’s happening and when. Don’t like how it’s looking? Reorganize your calendar and your to-do list to reflect the holiday you want to have this year.

2. Make a budget.
Take some time to think about all your expenses and decide exactly how much you will spend. Be sure to include all the parties you want to go to and the cost of gifts, food and decorations. Despite all of the holiday hoopla, stick to your plan no matter what! Avoid all the impulse spending, and when you max out your budget, that’s it. You’re done.

3. Decorate like a minimalist.
You have my permission…instead of decorating the entire house, keep it simple by decorating the tree and the mantel. Focus on your main living spaces where your family gathers most often. Take some of the pressure off yourself and ignore the urge to create a winter wonderland inside (or outside) your home this year.

4. Get rid of clutter.
No one wants to feel like their house is a cluttered mess. Get rid of the clutter before the holiday. For every new toy that you know the kids will open, get rid of two. Make your kids a part of it so they know they’re donating their well-loved toys to others.

This is also a great time to sort through and organize your clothes, garage and kitchen (even those ratty decorations in the attic you’re still clinging to). Sell or donate the stuff you know you don’t use anymore.

5. Stay healthy.
Take care of you. During the busy holiday season, we forget about ourselves. We worry so much about setting a nice table; buying and cooking the food; decorating the house; buying the presents; etc., we forget to take a time out and spend some quiet time alone.

Yes, it’s the season of giving to others, but make sure to put yourself on your priority list and put yourself high up on the list.

Being sick during the holiday is the worst. Do what you can to avoid it. Wash your hands, stay hydrated and avoid sick people. If we aren’t feeling mentally, physically and emotionally healthy, how we will be able to have a good holiday?

The more time you put aside for you, the healthier and happier you will feel this holiday season.

6. Ask for help.
There is no reason why you have to do everything on your own. Delegate this holiday season. Ask each person who is coming to prepare a dish or a dessert. Make your holidays not about the cooking but more about the socializing. If everyone brings a dish this will make your shopping and cooking much easier.

Don’t feel guilty about it. Each year have everyone make it a point to help each other so everyone can enjoy the holidays. This can also be a great way to clean up after the holidays. Delegate the clean up from the dishes to vacuuming the house. If everyone chips in, it won’t be so bad.

7. Gratitude.
This is the time of year that we should spend more time counting our blessings, remembering what we have instead of worrying about what we don’t. Instead of “Keeping up with the Jones’s,” take a minute to appreciate the abundance of love, health, family and friends.

The most important things in life are the things that make us the happiest: good relationships with family and friends, a partner we can share our life with and social activities that involve lots of smiling and laughing.

Slow down and think about what you really want to do this holiday season.

Suzette Fox is a local interior designer and real estate broker at RE/MAX First.

Visit her website Find her on Instagram and on Facebook at

Take care of you. Courtesy image