The holidays can be a time of extreme foodie pleasure - but that also often comes along with extreme foodie pressure.
The opportunity to share food with family and friends can be one of stress instead of fun.
Here are some holiday time tips to take your brain from stressful to mindful in the kitchen this year.
- Pro insight: Lack of planning is the main reason we struggle and end up with feelings of stress of even failure. Make sure that you have a solid plan in place of who is cooking, bringing, buying each meal you need for everyone. That way, you wont' be making midnight trips to 7-11 hoping they have a pound of butter for your last-minute baking that you forgot to ask your niece to bring ingredients for.
- If you're a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of gal, then roll with it. If planning is not your thing and you refuse to have other people bring food to your party, then you must become a penguin. Let it all roll off your back and if something goes wrong, find a way to laugh it off! We're making memories after all, and no one will actually remember that there was no appetizer served before the main meal. They'll just remember the people and the moments.
- Too many hens in the hen house? If you have a big family and find yourself stressed that both grandma's, all 6 aunts and 4 sisters need to be in the kitchen at all times to 'help out', make sure to have drawn some boundaries before hand. If you are the main cook it is your responsibility to have the kitchen run your way, which means less stress for you. If you're not the main cook, then roll with it and see point #2 above!
- If you find yourself panicking about the thought of cooking for 8, 10 or more people then find a way to bring some 'bubble bath' time into your kitchen. Light a candle in the window sill (romantic bubble baths still have to be cautious!) or your favourite incense, put on some slow jazz (or whatever makes you calm + happy!) and really set the stage for a happy time cooking. People can taste the love in your food, it's why restaurant food can never taste quite like homemade. Get your family singing, put a comedy podcast on or any other way you can think of to get yourself happy!
- RELAX. Don't just sit there. Put your feet up, girl. Once the meals are served, make sure you have someone else (or many 'else's) to help with clean up. Or better yet, let everyone rest for an hour after the meal before the clean up is done. It'll give your digestion a chance to work on the meal better, and it'll give you some down time! Much deserved after all your hard work.
Our digestive system (and whole body) works better when we aren't in 'fight or flight' mode and are in that lovely relaxed place. You know the one where you go to when someone tells you to go to your happy place? That sexy beach or hammock or garden or spa? That one. Going there in your mind is enough to help bring you back down to calm.
Go there! Happy Holidays.
Ready for a fresh-start post Christmas? Change Makers begins soon!