Take a deep breath. Turn on some soothing music. Light an aromatic candle — that is, if candles don’t stress you out.
The excitement of the holidays brings its own kind of stress; the Urban Dictionary (UrbanDictionary.com) even has a name for it: Holidaze – the feelings of confusion and excitement people have between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holidaze can also refer to the blur one feels while shopping in crowded stores, and the feeling of utter exhaustion at the conclusion of it all.
Barton County Extension Agent Donna Krug has combined some tips on simplifying the hectic details of the season, which she will share during a free program at noon Wednesday at the Great Bend Activity Center, 2715 18th St. This one-hour Stop ‘N Learn program is sponsored by the Great Bend Recreation Commission and open to all.
The key to avoiding holiday burnout is to keep things in perspective.
"Get a little more grounded on what we’re celebrating here," Krug says. Look for ways to simplify family "traditions" that may have gotten out of hand. "Instead of the big spread of food you’ve always had, maybe look at a soup night, or have everyone bring a dip."
Cynthia Ewer, author and editor of the website OrganizedHome.com, suggests taking a reality check: "Keep your celebration grounded in reality – and your own values – to simplify the holidays and celebrate the Christmas season," she writes.
"Make it a healthier holiday," Krug suggests. "Give someone a pedometer, workout video or cookbook, if they like to cook." Simple gifts will be appreciated, if they’re something the recipient will use. "When you think of someone you look at their habits, what they enjoy doing."
Remember holiday activities enjoyed when times were more simple – from stringing popcorn for the tree to caroling with friends.
"Just taking time for self" is an important part of beating holiday stress, Krug says. For her program, she’ll share a simple recipe for relaxation: Combine citrus peel and cinnamon in water and warm on a hot plate; turn on some soft music and imagine a peaceful place.
Krug will have handouts and food samples.