10 Life Hacks in Time for the Holidays!

Most of us look forward to the holidays, but not the stress that comes with them. I have learned several life hacks the hard way through trial and many errors. My family has four birthday celebrations between November and December so I had to learn how to stay chill and enjoy myself while hosting and organizing these events. Believe me.  I love it when everyone is together and want to be my best self. So how the heck do I do that?

10 Life Hacks in Time for the Holidays

Take care of yourself first.

Stress causes the build-up of cortisol which in turn makes fat. Sugar intake rises for most of us this time of year too. No one wants to gain weight over the holidays. Keep moving. Exercise gets those endorphins surging. It feels good.

Take a break from the hubbub. Walk your dog. Walk your neighbor’s dog. Do you have company? Ask them to join you for a walk. You may start a new holiday tradition!

The family on Thanksgiving day

Take the time to sit down and eat well. Drink lots of water. Turn off the TV and Internet an hour before bed to sleep better. I covered up the LED lights in my bedroom and it made a huge difference.

Recognize your limitations.

I could never figure out why I got so stressed out when others offered to help or to keep me company in the kitchen while I cooked. It would take twice as long and I missed out on a lot of the festivities. I finally realized I’m ADD and can’t concentrate. I’m so much happier in my own little world. I make a lot fewer mistakes too!

Have the opposite problem? Delegate. Ask for help. Give everyone a job. They’ll all feel like they contributed and you’ll have a lot more time to hang out together.

My son and daughter both cooked for Friendsgiving this year. Their secret is out. I will engage their expertise this year.

Lower your expectations.

No matter how you envision holidays, they are never what you expect. We are surrounded by images of perfect families, especially on Facebook. REALITY CHECK: There is no such thing. We’re human, remember?

Instead of using the time envisioning the perfect holidays, be productive…

Stop the constant updates on social media. Be in the moment instead.

Are you a Facebook or Instagram fanatic? Stop. I still can’t figure out why everyone is so obsessed with wanting to look at everyone’s personal photos. Think about it.

Would you go to a friend’s house to spend an evening perusing their photo albums?

Not me. It becomes addicting when posting to see how many people like them. I’m a blogger. I get that. But I a little goes a long way to connect with friends and family.

Have phone-free zones.

Have you ever looked around a restaurant and seen dozens of people with their noses in their phones? It’s terrible. Our population has grown exponentially, but we are more isolated than ever. Communicate the old-fashioned way. Face to face.


Purchase gifts online.

This is a no-brainer, but I still spent hours shopping for my husband a week ago. Why??? Looking back, I could have easily bought everything in a half hour and had it shipped to my door. Lesson learned.

Ask for links when getting loved one’s Christmas lists. My daughter is the bomb at this. She gets exactly what she wants.

Create some Hygge moments.

Hygge is a Scandinavian lifestyle. My previous post listed some Hygge moments to slow down and relax. Time is fleeting. Soon it will be January. Find ways to add comfort and joy to your holiday season. That last sentence seems so familiar…

Be thankful.

This may seem trite until you actually sit down and write a gratitude list. After my brother died in March, writing in a gratitude journal helped me through some rough patches by focusing on the most positive moments of each day. Before going to sleep, make a list of three good things that happened. It works!


Do you have five minutes? I bet you do. Go to Insight Timer or another one of hundreds of meditation apps. Listen to one and tune out the noise. Feel better. It will also help with focus. That’s something in short supply for me during the holidays. I’m like an ADD Tazmanian Devil. Yep. Slowing down for me is a challenge.

Stay organized – Make a bullet point journal.

This really blew up this year. When I first saw blog titles with that name, I shrugged. I already was a list maker. My super simple bullet point journaling is very different!

bullet point journaling tools

It really helps me to keep habits like meditating or entering in my gratitude journal. Filling in the bubbles is a rush. I’m all about endorphin rushes.

I’m sure there’s a ton more to add, but the holidays are almost upon us and my list is long. I hope you have a fabulous holiday season this year!

Do you have any suggestions to add to the list? Which one can you relate to most?

Click for more adventure on the Wild Ride!

Related posts:

Super Easy Bullet Point Journaling for the Holidays

How to Have a Hygge Life!

Dear Holiday Diary, Mistakes were made.

77 thoughts on “10 Life Hacks in Time for the Holidays!

Add yours

      1. We’ll see.
        It’ll be nuts at work, but it always is.
        As for our house, my daughter is nineteen so that awesome “young kid at Christmas vibe” is gone forever. But we’ll adapt and evolve, as always.


      1. I used to always take on too much (still have the odd relapse), but in recent years I’ve realized that life goes on just as well if I let a few little things slide and behave more like humans were meant to.


  1. it’s funny how I hit the holidays and immediately begin to feel the stress. Your reminders are really important and necessary. I’m a slow learner on “recognizing my limitations,” but thank you for pointing in me in the right direction.


    1. Thanks for reading, Debra!
      I took my own advice this Thanksgiving and it was a lot more enjoyable. I didn’t make any recipe mistakes either. YAY! It’s hard to admit that we can’t do it all, but most people love to help.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This will be the 2nd Christmas without Dad. Sis no longer has cancer, but has some challenges she is dealing with. My 2 great nieces are older…more fun? we shall see… Mom turned 84. I love spending personal time together at the grocery, restaurant, or just driving…
    Blog time still there…play social games like words with friends (lol – 48 of them right now).
    Life is good…stroke was bad, but turned out good…Thank you God.


    1. Happy Belated Thanksgiving, Scott! I’m so glad you see the beauty and joy in life. That is the key!
      My family is much smaller this Thanksgiving, but everyone is here and I am truly grateful for that.
      Thanks for reading! It’s always great to “see” you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Peggy! I’ve learned a lot by entertaining everyone over the years. I’m always trying to figure out how to make the holidays easier and more enjoyable for everyone. No one wants to be around a grouchy host. Ha!


  3. I can relate to many of these, except watching the TV because it usually sends me to sleep. I’m with you on ‘living the moment’, Susie. Christmas is my favourite time of year, but for the last few years I’ve powered up the computer (even on Christmas Day) and spent too much time on it instead of celebrating with the family. Not this year…


    1. That is so good to hear, Hugh! The season allows for tons of great opportunities to connect, but not if we’re concentrating on some kind of screen. I have found myself obsessing over taking photos and looking “through” the screen instead of taking in the moment. I’ve been reminding my family that they have cameras on their phones too. 🙂
      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think one of the things that helps me a lot if I practice it but hurts horribly if I don’t is accepting when things aren’t perfect. Something is burnt, I don’t have the “right” coffee for my mother-in-law or the awesome present I thought I bought someone, isn’t so awesome. This post is perfect for this time of year!


    1. High expectations can make us miserable. I’m a perfectionist of sorts and have had a lot of let downs. Last year when I entertained, I found all the fresh appetizers I’d slaved over in the fridge. GAH!!!
      Thanks for reading!


  5. My best Thanksgiving hack is to let someone else take care of it for me. We go to my SIL’s house for Thanksgiving and it’s worth the trip to not have to worry about cooking. Of course, who am I kidding, even if it was at my house, I wouldn’t be doing the cooking. My husband is a chef.


        1. Your Aunt had the right idea!
          If I assign something now, I might have a chance. 🙂 My son offered to make paella Christmas Eve. Life goes so dang fast! I’m trying to capture every moment.


    1. Thanks, Daphne!
      Expectations, especially for the holidays, is the worst. It’s a trap we set for ourselves. My mom always seemed to entertain so flawlessly. I would rather be playing pool in the basement with everyone else, but now cooking only takes an hour without distractions. Not bad!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Gabe!
      You’ll be so much happier too. It’s all about slowing down. I’m so bad at that! Yesterday, I wiped out as I entered a restaurant while wearing ski boots. In my defense, their tile floors are super slippery. I thought I broke my finger among other body parts. When I was dipping my finger in ice water, I almost dipped it in hot coffee instead. Spazzy Susie! The moments after taking a deep breath were a lot more Hygge like!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We all need to take this advice, myself included! It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex. Once I started to let it go daily, it became a lot easier. I need to focus on the slow parts of life since I’m either writing or in hyper-drive. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

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