5 ways to destress before the holidays

(NC) Ever feel like you need a holiday from the holidays? The last few weeks of the year can be hectic, so it’s a smart, sane move to take steps early on to prevent stress and sail through the season.  

  1. Prep your home now. Guests are more interested in your good company than your impeccable housekeeping. Do a deep clean before the holidays and then simply do a quick tidy before and after visitors. Go minimalist with your décor – skip the tree and elaborate lights and opt for seasonal greenery in vases instead.
  2. Plan your gift list. Money and lack of time are two of the biggest stressors, so create a spreadsheet and set a gift budget for each person on your list. Shop online to avoid mall crowds and have items shipped directly to out-of-town relatives you won’t be seeing in person.
  3. Make time for self-care. As you plan the perfect present or experience for loved ones, remember to reflect and take time for yourself. Plan a solo spa day or one with friends to relax and rejuvenate. Indulge and relax at the newly renovated spa at the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto or the Spa by JW, downtown Edmonton’s only luxury spa experience.  
  4. Prioritize unplugging. Seeing others’ social media posts can make it feel like you’re missing out and need to keep up, but these carefully curated best moments aren’t representative of everyday life. Avoid comparisons and live in the moment by scheduling time off your phone.
  5. Practice saying no. One of the most important skills you can learn is guarding your time and space by only doing the things you really need or want to do. Feel obligated to attend a great aunt’s family gathering a few hours away? Send a card instead and do something you enjoy, or go on a last-minute weekend getaway with friends or your immediate family.