Thank you Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups for sponsoring this post. Stay warm with this winter with a cozy bowl of soup!
The holidays are commonly accepted as being one of the most stressful times of the year. Just think about all the things that go on during the holiday season, from hosting holiday dinner parties to buying gifts for family and friends to keeping your kids entertained as they spend their winter vacation at home. It’s easy to get bogged down by it all. Here’s 8 tips that you can follow to help keep the holiday season as stress-free as possible. Plus, I share how to warm up winter with one of my faves: the delicious, stress-free Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups.
Set a budget – Before you begin spending money on gifts for friends and family, be sure to set a clear budget. Figure out what exactly you can afford and then stick to that number. One of the biggest stress causes out there is financial. The worst thing you can do is overspend during the holiday season, since this will undoubtedly cause you plenty of financial worry. When setting your gift buying budget, keep in mind all of your other financial obligations as well, from the energy bills (which tend to increase during the winters) to food bills, which can increase if you are hosting any holiday dinners. If you plan on traveling for the holidays, you’ll want to set a budget for this too.
Buy gifts ahead of time – Don’t wait until the last second to buy all the gifts you need to buy. Not only will this be an incredibly stressful event, but odds are you’ll be stressing out for days just thinking about it before you actually go out shopping. Begin buying gifts ahead of time and you won’t have to buy everything at once, and you won’t have to worry about not being able to find something because it’s sold out or forgetting to buy something for a certain person.
Wrap as you buy – Don’t wait until the last minute to wrap your presents. Just knowing you have something that needs to be done by a certain day can cause stress. Whenever you buy gifts, wrap them that evening. This way you’re getting it out of the way, and it’s one less thing to worry about. I’ll admit, I’m not very good at wrapping gifts as I buy them. I am so busy with work during the holiday season that it’s usually put on the back burner until last minute.
Don’t overcommit – Everyone makes an added effort to be kind to their friends and family. However, this doesn’t mean that you should agree to their every whim. Don’t feel like you have to do something with a friend or family member every time you are invited – you’re allowed to have a few days to yourself. Overcommitment to too many events or activities will burn you out. Don’t be afraid to say no.
Schedule alone time – It’s absolutely vital that you have a few hours to yourself every once in a while. In fact, you should schedule a few days where you can just relax at home with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate. Staying home and relaxing is a great way to reduce your stress levels. Set aside a day for crafts or sledding with your kids. Try our build a snowman kit. You’ll be glad you made so many great memories!
Exercise – It can be difficult to find the time to exercise, especially if you spend the holidays running around doing errands in addition to visiting with family and friends. However, exercise is a great way to reduce your overall stress level as well as increase your energy levels so that you won’t be as tired and worn out through the holidays. Not to mention that most people tend to eat a little more during the holidays, which means that exercising will reduce the stress associated with the thought of potentially gaining weight.
Buy pre-made food – Not all of the food you cook needs to be made from scratch. The last thing you want to do is spend the entire holiday season in the kitchen. Even if you are throwing a large holiday dinner for family and friends, you can still serve some items that are pre-made, such as appetizers, sides or some desserts.
This year my family will be gathering on Christmas Eve as well as for brunch on Christmas Day. For Christmas Eve we will be making soups along with a few dips and easy sandwiches. To enjoy more time spent with my family I love using Idahoan Steakhouse Soups as a quick and easy meal option. It’s the perfect way to enjoy my family stress-free and warm up winter on a chilly night!
Idahoan Steakhouse Soups are perfect for the holidays because not only are they like homemade but they’re ready in under 10 minutes! For our Christmas Eve gathering I’ll mix a few packets, cook in my Ninja multi-cooker and set on warm to serve to my family. Of course, no soup is complete without delicious bread or a sandwich. Today I’m going to share my favorite recipe that pairs perfectly with Idahoan Steakhouse Soups: ciabatta cheese bread.
Ciabatta Cheese Bread Recipe
Ciabatta Bread Rolls
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded or fresh
½ Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
Parmasen Cheese, shredded
1 tsp Garlic Salt
Fresh Parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 450° F.
Cut the ciabatta rolls in half lengthwise.
In a bowl, combine the softened butter, parmesan cheese and garlic powder. I use about a half cup of butter per four ciabatta rolls.
Spread the butter mixture on top of the cut side of the rolls. Layer on the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Please watch it carefully as it can burn quickly and all ovens are different.
Garnish with parsley. Serve with your favorite Idahoan Steakhouse Soup.
Idahoan Steakhouse Soups give you the flavorful, slow-cooked taste of restaurant-quality soup at home, in just five minutes. You’ll have your guests fooled in thinking you’ve spent hours making this soup! Yes, it’s that good! Idahoan Steakhouse Soups are available in four delicious flavor varieties: Loaded Potato, Creamy Potato, Cheddar Broccoli and Cheddar Potato. I love the loaded potato but I’ve tried them all and they every one of them is delicious. Idahoan Steakhouse Soups bring together real, red Idaho® potatoes with flavorful seasonings and rich cheeses to provide a creamy taste in every spoonful – all you have to do is add water.
Ask for help – If you plan on throwing a holiday dinner for family and friends, don’t be afraid of asking for help if things become a little overwhelming. A family member or friend will be more than happy to help you plan the dinner, shop for ingredients, cook and more. You could even ask your guests to bring side dishes to the dinner to help cut down on the amount of food you have to prepare.
Do you have any tips to reduce stress this holiday season? I would love for you to share your tips in the comments below!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Judith Watson says
Thanks for the tips. I usually stress out!
rhonda miotke says
Thank you for the wonderful tips. We all get stressed this time of the year, time seems to fly by and it’s nice to be able to a minute to take a breath.
Phyllis Huebbe says
Both the soup and bread look delicious
Nikolina Vukelic says
I really enjoyed reading the entire post, thank you for all the useful tips!
All great tips… specifically the budget. It is easy for a lot of us to go overboard and then have to pay for it (in more ways than one) come January. Set a budget and stick to it, and you’ll be ok! 🙂
Noted! Thank you for the tips
Kimberly Flickinger says
These are excellent tips, I will definitely keep these in mind. I will also be sure to try this recipe, sounds delicious.
Donna K says
My doctor has told me I need to seriously dial back my stress and several of these ideas can translate into the new year.
I buy Idahoan product but have never seen the soup mixes. I’d love to try them, and will keep an eye out at my grocery store. Thanks. Love the ciabatta bread recipe too!
Velva Axtell says
Thanks for all the tips. One that is important for me is to follow an advent devotional to remember the true reason for the season.
Melanie Kampman says
Yes, such an important reason!
Sherry Compton says
The holidays are stressful. I bought some premade stuff this year, and it really did help.
Kara Vaughan Marks says
Good suggestions. And I didn’t know about these soups–I’d love to try them.
Jo-Ann Brightman says
These are all great tips. I have adopted some of them and might try others next holiday season.
Veronica Lee says
Thank you for the wonderful suggestions. I’d love to try the Ciabatta Cheese Bread Recipe.