Simplify your plans when entertaining

simplify post it note image by trudy

stress less

In the lead up to Christmas and New Year, glossy magazines paint a picture of absolute joy amidst glamorous meals, gorgeous room settings and happy faces.

You see the same in Bridal Magazines, Home & Lifestyle features and other big glossies.

The mags rarely show the flip side.

The inevitable stresses: pressure of gift selection, last minute catch-ups with neglected friends before the year ends, festivity planning, remembering lost loved ones, struggling with obligations to share time with people they’d rather not be with, panicking about last-minute details, dragging the kids between various in-laws, allocating more time to meet demands of holidaying partners and family, alcohol fueled debates or regrets, and endless cleaning before and after the hoards hurtle through.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it were true that you could avoid or reduce the stresses that magazines fail to mention?

simplify to save time, cut stress + stay healthy

Well you can reduce some stresses and save a lot of time by simplifying.

Simplicity doesn’t equal basic, boring or frugal. 

To simplify is to let go.

Let go to share the load or simply say no (to yourself or others) on occasion to reduce the pressure.

Settle back today and I'll help you work out how to enjoy the end of the year with less stress and keep your body and mind in shape, no matter what celebration is on the horizon.

You will be surprised at how easy it is.

rethink gifts and presents

  • Rather than guess what someone wants as a gift, ask for a few ideas. Pick one of those and there’s still a surprise when the present arrives.

Be bold and tell others what you want to take the pressure off the gift-giver.

keep food simple: you are not on masterchef!

Let joy come from being with guests and sharing rather than dashing between the kitchen and dining table.

  • Share the load by asking guests to bring a plate.
  • Choose a few tried and trusted dishes to share rather than anything complex or experimental. Match these with a casual, relaxed table setting.
  • By keeping catering simple with less variety, you not only save time in preparation but you also reduce your overall food intake. When there are several dishes to choose from, humans are very likely to sample and serve more than when there is only one available. The research confirms that humans eat more when more variety is available.
  • Coordinate a casual picnic away from home to avoid another day of tidying and cooking. Make it BYO everything (food, crockery and utensils) to shift the focus off food and onto fun.
  • neglected friends and guilty feelings

    Rather than cram in a last-minute get-together right now, make a phone call today or send a hand-written letter.

    Fix a date during 2018 to spend more time with lost and neglected friends. Choose a venue that doesn’t involve food or drink. It's time for chatting rather than eating and drinking.

    simplify food the entire year!

    Keep the dining table clear of clutter so mealtimes run smoothly.

  • Avoid turning up the heat with a 'cook to order' kitchen at your place where fussy eaters get alternate meals and partners expect a freshly cooked meal when they arrive home late, well after dinner time.
  • Prepare one easy popular dish for your household or guests instead of slaving in the kitchen to create a multi-choice menu.
  • Shop to a list to minimise random buys and forgotten ingredients.
  • Shop on-line for groceries with home delivery offered to avoid chaotic after-work impulse buys and parking pressures.
  • Purge the pantry and fridge of clutter and clumsy storage containers. Make it quick to find ingredients.
  • Avoid the temptation to compete or compare your foods with the false images on Instagram and Pinterest. Those pretty plated food images are not really real life. They are set to torment you and make you feel inadequate.

    What will you do to ease the pressure of celebrations?