In this episode, I am sharing 5 ways to stay stress free this season and make sure you are taking time for yourself and your hobbies.
Listen to the episode below or keep scrolling to read the post.
5 Ways to Stay Stress Free This Season
This season is always the busiest for our family. Sports and ballet and school functions and then organising Christmas; it’s a lot. I am trying to make sure this year I am prepared so that I can stay as stress free as possible.
I am of course mostly talking about using your hobbies to stay stress free this season but I will include some extra tips too.
1. Plan your hobbies
I have a whole post about planning your specific projects for the season which you can listen to here, but also plan some other hobbies too. I love to make this time of year. Maybe for you, you really want to build a gingerbread house and in the past you’ve never had the time or your left it too late. Pick one extra thing that you want to do for fun this season and listen to the rest of the tips to make sure you fit it in.
Next week I am sharing more about hobbies for the season so we will dive even deeper into this.
2. Use a calendar
I only started using a digital calendar this year. I actually don’t know how I coped so long without it.
If you are a paper planner usually then stick with that the rest of the year, but I recommend also using your phone calendar for this season.
Spend half an hour inputting all the events and functions you have going on the next couple of months.
For me, I don’t put in regular things such as ballet every Saturday morning for Annie. I use this calendar for extra things. George has some weekday football matches with school and he needs to be picked up from different places; that goes in my calendar. I have a Christmas meal for my other job; that goes in. If we’re going to see Panto, the kids have their own clothes day, when we’re travelling to see family etc; it all goes in.
Not only do I not want to forget an event but I want to make sure I am not over stretching myself. If someone asks me to do something last minute I can pull out my phone and check what else is going on that week before I give them an answer.
It is also going to help with the next steps if you know what things are already planned this season.
3. Take a day off
This time of year I love to take a day or 2 off. I use them very specifically too. If you can swing this, look in your calendar and find a day you have nothing on. Book it off work/make sure the kids are in school or you have childcare etc. And I’ll think you will want to do this twice when you hear what I do.
One of the days I use a creative retreat day. I get out my Christmas colouring books and projects, put cheesy films on and just spend the day doing what ever I want. I love it! I try and make it in the first week of December. Usually, our decorations are up then and I’m not worrying too much about everything I have to do so I actually do relax. And then usually that night once the kids are in bed I do some baking. Having this scheduled and planned too just makes me look forward to it so much more. I have a whole episode on taking a Christmas retreat day that you can listen to here.
On the other day, I wrap everything. I love wrapping presents. I take my time with it and make it something fun. I always watch Bad Moms Christmas, make myself a nice drink and get some treats. I used to wrap on Christmas Eve but that is just not possible any more. Plus wrapping a bit earlier allows me to see everything I’ve got and make sure nothing is missing. Have you ever got to Christmas Eve and forgotten where you’ve hid presents? I do this around the week of the 16th and it just allows me to relax more knowing that it’s all done.
4. Plan a night with friends
Right before Christmas, I like to plan a night with friends or family. This can be a craft night that you host or you could go out for a meal or go out for drinks. Some things I’ve done over the years are out for drinks, last year we went for an Indian and I’ve done a wreath-making class. When the kids were really small we all went out for a nice pub lunch kids in tow. This year I want to go to a Kinema we have here and they do a pyjama party while you watch Love Actually. And a friend of mine has suggested a Christmas cocktail-making night. I got a cocktail-making kit for my birthday last year and have used it once so that’s a good excuse. You could also plan a date night with your partner. Just plan something fun where you can enjoy yourself and get a night off from the usual day-to-day.
5. Join the Cross Stitch Club
I couldn’t do this episode without mentioning the Cross Stitch Club. Something I preach about a lot is taking time every day for yourself. And it is even more important this time of year. In the club, we meet at least once a week for an hour to get together and stitch. And for 5 days each month, we meet every day. This is a great way to make sure you are taking time for yourself during this busy season. If you want to wait until the end of the month I am doing some special offers on the club so keep your eye out for that. The prices will be going up next year so this is your chance to lock in the lower prices.
Bonus tip for a stress free season
I listened to a podcast episode by The Mom Hour which is a great listen in itself for getting prepared for this season. But they mentioned a book that I am starting called Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year (affiliate link). It looks so cosy and practical. She also has a podcast called Calm Christmas that I am going to check out.