I'll admit it, I've been stressed like this before company comes over: 4 ways to help you keep your cool

‘Tis the season for believing you’ll complete every unfinished project the night before company comes over. Of course, once they walk into your immaculate- yet rustically festive- home they’ll be salivating from the aroma of just-from-the-oven pies and fresh potpourri simmering on your stove. If this scenario brings you an abundance of happiness, fantastic. If this brings an abundance of stress, maybe it’s time to rethink these “expectations.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3315441/Male-comedian-transforms-crazed-stay-home-mom-poke-fun-clean-freak-women-brilliant-spoof-video.htmlIt’s healthy to find humor in life, and even better when we can laugh at ourselves, right?

I guess it suffices to say that I see a little bit of myself in this rendition of a pre-company freak-out because I find it utterly hilarious. If you haven’t seen this video, take a minute and twenty-six seconds to watch…I’ll wait.

Look familiar? My favorites: “if you haven’t made your bed yet just throw it out, it’s too late!” And, of course, the endless spinning in circles.

Yes, I’ll admit it, both are a little like me…but I’m working on it.

Over the years I’ve consciously aimed to reduce holiday stress and my own crazed expectations that surface every November. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not stress-free, but serving dinner for 15 no longer sends me into a frenzy.

Does this “Gayle” video hit a little too close to home?  Try these four ideas to help make “company is coming” sound less like a threat.

1. Time for New Traditions. The holidays in my childhood home meant twelve dozen cookies…in twelve different varieties. Yes, there were cookies for the entire neighborhood. Once I had my own home, I felt I needed to carry on this “tradition” along with countless others. But, in reality, I didn’t even like most of the cookies, and baking them caused more stress than enjoyment. So, now we just bake a couple dozen of our absolute favorites. If a ‘tradition” causes stress, amend it or let it go. Really. It’s ok to start something new.

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/super-simple-diy-centerpieces-1323482. Alter Expectations. Break everything into bite-size pieces. Baking cookies? Make the dough, bake, and decorate on three different days (yes, your dough will be fine in the fridge or freezer for awhile).

Lighten up on decorations. Decorate with just your favorite items, or bring a little of the “outdoors in” for simple, natural decorations.

3. Write it Down. Whether it’s on your phone or on paper, multiple lists can cut down on last-minute errands. Before leaving a store, see if there’s anything you can pick up from one of your lists: grocery item, gift, stamps, gift card? Drive-thru coffee? Pick up a gift card to have ready for the mail carrier or crossing guard.

4. Find Your Zen. The holidays can be overwhelming. Make time for you…daily. Enjoy a cup of tea in front of the fire, seclude yourself with a favorite book, or maybe find a cozy spot with a cup of coffee and just people watch. Whatever brings you a sense of calm and a moment to recharge, do it. Even 15 minutes can restore your energy, create grounding, and even help boost your immunity

centerpiece photo credit

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