Greetings from Sweetwater!
Time to Celebrate The Holidays!!
How to do it without the stress…
Reducing the Stress
Christmas can be a very stressful time of year. For many the Christmas holiday period is a mass of social interactions with family or relatives close and distant. There could well be expectations, or at least perceived expectations, to create a ‘wonderful Christmas’ with presents and perhaps the most important meal of the year. We have a few tips to help you reduce the stress this holiday season.
Start making a list of things you need to do for Christmas early: for example, shopping, food and presents, decorations, seating plans or travel arrangements. Make the list as detailed as possible, include people’s phone numbers or email addresses to make contacting them simpler.
Although shopping locally has many advantages, High Street shopping just before Christmas can be particularly stressful, often cold and wet and with hundreds of other stressed people trying to find the ‘perfect’ gift may seem impossible.
Know When to Stop
Decide when you will stop your Christmas preparations and start to relax and enjoy the holiday. Work towards and try to stick to this goal, even if it is in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Remember that Christmas is your holiday too.
Have Decaffeinated Coffee
When your body is under stress it produces cortisol, which prepares you for ‘fight or flight’ situations. Caffeine does this as well. Offer everybody decaffeinated coffee and tea, or herbal tea alternatives, since this will help keep the stress levels down and has the bonus that people may fall asleep after dinner!
Have a 'Great Escape' Plan
It's a good idea to have some pre-planned excuses to escape from proceedings if they get too stressful. Be imaginative and use things such as leaving the room to make a phone-call to a friend or perhaps checking on a neighbor. Just by having planned a couple of escape routes you’ll probably feel less stressed anyway but leaving the situation, even for 10 minutes, will help clear your mind and relax you.
Make Time for Exercise
Exercise can be easily overlooked during the holidays. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress as it burns off hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and helps produce mood-enhancing endorphins. Try going for a walk after dinner as the fresh air and exercise will lift your mood and make you feel better.
Remember it’s your Christmas too so try to relax and have fun, laugh and be merry. If you do find others around you difficult then try to rise above the situation. If things don’t go to plan try not to worry too much, instead laugh about it. Make this into memories to talk about during Christmases to come.
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One Day Christmas Shopping?
Believe it or not it can be done. Some people prefer to get the whole list knocked out in a day and why not? We have a few tips for planning that one day you have in mind to go out there and get err done!
- Start with a healthy breakfast
To start out the day, you need to start right with energy and less fat. It’ll slow you down more than you think. So, skip the donut shop and make some homemade oatmeal with almonds instead.
- Acquire an upbeat playlist
We all love the Christmas spirit but we tend to linger in stores with Christmas music playing and when trying to knock out the Christmas shopping, it could slow you down. Put on your headphones and put on some upbeat music to keep you going all day.
- Get the sales and coupons before heading out
At this age in time, we are so spoiled to have everything we need in the palm of our hand. Smartphones have us spoiled! Why not download apps that will show you the best deals or give you coupons for items on the spot? Sounds like a money saver to me.
- Hit the stores solo
People tend to mimic one another unconsciously. Your friend’s “since I’m here shopping”, can turn your basket into a pile of your gifts and not gifts for everyone else. To avoid this, say no to a companion and your day will go smoother.
- Stop at the bank on the way out
You’re less likely to do impulse buying with only some cash on hand. Leave the credit cards at home and go the back to get large bills. That way you’re less willing to break the large bills.
We wish you and all your family to enjoy your time and Happy Holidays!!
Ornament popcorn balls
Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for edible ornaments
- 10 cups popped popcorn
- 1 package (10 ounces) large marshmallows
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional decorations: candy canes, candy spearmint leaves and assorted gumdrops
- Place popcorn in a large bowl. In a large saucepan, combine marshmallows, butter and salt. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Pour over popcorn; mix well. Cool slightly.
- With greased hands, shape mixture into 12 popcorn balls, about 3/4 cup each. Place on waxed paper. Decorate as desired; let stand until set. Yield: 1 dozen.
Makes 12 servings
Brandi Chalfant, Front Office Admin- December 30th
Yanet Maldonado, Dr. Williams Nurse—December 12th
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