Woman sitting on bed smiling with no stress
26th October 2023
Lifestyle

Holiday Prep Like a Pro: How to Enjoy Hosting Guests & Avoid Stress!

It’s that time of year again to rekindle friendships and make new memories. There is nothing more rewarding than inviting family and friends to stay at your home during the holidays.  With proper planning and staying organized, you can take the stress out and make the most of your time with loved ones. 

Before you get things ready for your guests, it’s important to be sure you have your home base set up and comfortable for you! It seems like every Holiday season we are all sprinting to the finish line, that’s why for some the Holidays and stress can go hand in hand. In fact, to cope with the stress or at least feel like they are checking off that Holiday list, many people start to skimp on sleep time replacing sleep hours with cooking, shopping, gift wrapping, parties, and family time. 

Here we’ll be going through the simple things you can do to ensure you keep stress at bay and truly enjoy the season.

How Your Sleep Schedule Changes

Remember it’s important to get enough sleep to keep our bodies in tip-top shape. That also means keeping you going during this party-filled season. During the Holidays there is a strong chance you are logging less sleep time due to stress caused by traveling, a disrupted routine, family gatherings, and even financial worries. 

On the flip side, most people feel like they actually sleep better over the Holidays. With time off of work, enjoying gatherings, food, parties, and maybe even less responsibility can FEEL like you are relaxing. But don’t forget, these routine changes can also have a negative effect on sleep. 

How Stress Affects Sleep 

The Holidays create a different feeling for each person, for some, it’s a fun and exciting time but for others, this is the most stressful time of the year. This stress can seriously affect your sleep quality. 

This study found that stress raises cortisol, which is extremely wake-promoting, which makes it extremely difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Not to mention, many people prone to stress tend to experience intrusive thoughts while trying to fall asleep which can be a cause of insomnia. 

If you find that you fall into the more stressed category, it’s important for you, your sleep, and your well-being that you find ways to manage your stress. This can vary from person to person, but we have a few tips that can help. 

  • Try to avoid stimulants later in the day, yes this means caffeine.
  • Exercise causes endorphins, endorphins keep you happy. Exercise also helps to reduce cortisol, a common hormone that can keep you up.
  • Take a mindful minute, especially before bed. Practice deep breathing to help relax. 

Tips to Improve Your Sleep Over the Holidays: 

  • Try to Keep A Sleep Schedule.
    Go to bed and wake up at the same time, even if this means staying up every night to binge-watch Holiday movies. If you do feel you need to nap, be strategic! Try your best to not give in to that nap after a big meal, digestion slows when you sleep which can lead to indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux that can wake you up. This is also a good reason to not eat too late at night. Remember if you do nap a 20 to 30-minute nap is best. 
  • Set a budget to reduce the financial stress associated with the Holidays.
    Plan your spending ahead of time to make sure you don’t spend too much. Having the stress of gift buying done early will help you enjoy the Holidays much more. 
  • Stay with loved ones.
    If you are traveling, it’s always best to stay with friends or family if you can. Being around familiar faces can help keep you calm and at ease. 
  • We know ‘Tis the Season… but watch how much you are eating and drinking!
    Especially those holiday sweets. Ever feel like you crash after having too much pie? That’s because your body triggers a release of insulin to combat the spike in blood sugar, this clears glucose from the blood and causes that feeling. Plus, if you are eating sugar too late it can promote bursts of energy making it harder for you to fall asleep.
  • WHAT you sleep on can seriously dictate your quality of sleep.
    If you are staying home this Holiday season, you want to be sure your bedroom becomes your sanctuary to keep you calm and collected, especially if your family is staying over. Your mattress should be helping you get the best possible sleep no matter how many hours you are in bed. Essentia mattresses are proven to extend the time you spend in Deep Sleep and REM sleep cycles by 20% to 60%! That’s huge, especially if you are only logging 5 hours of sleep a night. More time spent in these cycles helps your mind and body to recover from the day so you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to Rise & Thrive!

Friends celebrating a Holiday Part. Some may be feeling the stress

Host at Your Home Like A Pro

Now that we’ve shared our tips to keep you on track this holiday season, it’s time to share some hosting tips to ensure your guests feel at home and you feel relaxed. Plan out what you need to purchase and don’t wait until the last minute.

Whether your guests are staying for one night or one week, the most important room to prepare is the guest bedroom. We all hate “living out of a suitcase” so creating a clean and comfortable room goes a long way.  Make sure they have space to unpack, ample lighting, quality towels, and linens, and don’t forget about the Wi-Fi password.  

Create a relaxing bedroom space so they feel at home:

  • Fresh flowers can change any mood! We always have a simple vase with fresh flowers on the main dresser or nightstand.
  • A simple chalkboard that clearly displays the Wi-Fi password will be very helpful for everyone to easily connect to the multitude of devices we travel with now.
  • Adding a wireless phone charger to the room can be helpful if anyone forgets their own.
  • The bed should be the centerpiece, inviting and cozy. We love adding extra blankets and a slew of pillows so your guests can find the one that is just right.
  • Don’t forget to add nightlights in the hallway or bathroom so guests can find their way easily at night.

Speaking of nighttime bathroom trips, the bathroom is the second most important space for any overnight guest. If they are traveling via airplane, they are limited on what they can pack so having bathroom essentials like shampoo, conditioner, soap, and face wash provides a nice touch.  If you’ve been hoarding little hotel bottles, now is the time to use them.

Things to keep in mind when preparing your bathroom:

  • Keep the holiday spirit alive, even in the can! Holiday candles, flowers, or even a live plant can add to the spirit.
  • The hardest part of hosting is the laundry! Towels tend to pile up, so be sure guests have a place to keep their towels in their bedroom and know where to place them if they need to grab a new one.
  • Keep essentials like aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, bandaids, hydrogen peroxide, and more in the cabinets. You never know when someone would need something and being able to have access without asking you will take the load off your plate.
  • Be sure essentials like the plunger are clearly visible to guests and they are aware of any intricacies of your bathroom. No one wants the embarrassment of having to ask for help if the toilet gets clogged.

Finally, the heart of the home… the kitchen! 

Making your holiday guests feel at home in the kitchen empowers them to help themselves with food and drinks. The time spent around the kitchen can be the most memorable part of their trip. Check with your guest for allergies and food preferences and shop in advance or have the food delivered to save precious time. Also show your guest where supplies, snacks, drinks, silverware, and dishes are kept. Show them where your garbage and recycling cans are, and where to put what.

Now that we’ve shared all of our tips, we hope that you have an amazing Holiday season celebrating with friends and family!

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