While the holidays may seem like a quick break from the everyday hustle of life, they can be even more stressful because of all the planning, the shopping, the cleaning, the deadlines, and the worst part of it all—the traffic.
Traffic is inevitable especially if you’re living in the city. The only way to deal with it is if you plan ahead of time.
Wake up a Little Earlier
Getting out of bed in the morning is a hard task. It’s going to be even harder if you have to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual. However, this will save you a lot of time. You can get started on chores early and use the remaining time to make a schedule for the holidays.
If you have to go to work on or before the holidays, leave the house a little earlier to avoid the morning rush. The holidays are the best time to reunite with loved ones. More often than not, members that live far from each other will all gather in one place to celebrate and spend time together. So, if you have a trip to a different part of the city or the next town over, give yourself an extra hour or more to avoid the frustration that comes with running out of time.
Know Your Timing
Each minute you spend out of the house should be put to good use–and not stuck in traffic or waiting in long lines to pay for your Christmas shopping. If you are planning to go to a mall, go there before noon and never on Fridays to avoid being crushed by a huge crowd of people.
Keep Yourself Calm
Traffic is emotionally exhausting for everyone. If you have kids in your car, bring things that can entertain them while waiting. It can be snacks, games, or a tablet to keep them busy. If you’re the driver, you need to keep your eyes on the road; keeping the children entertained will help you focus.
If you’re alone and have no company to keep you sane while stuck in traffic, prepare a nice playlist to help you get through the road. Jamming to your favorite songs will keep you entertained until the trip ends. You can also use this time to listen to some of the most creative podcasts out there.
Take occasional stops to stretch out your legs and cool your head. Being stuck in traffic can have negative effects on you physically and mentally. Having a clearer head will help you search for alternate routes.
Make Yourself Comfortable
You’re going to be stuck in your car for the next few hours so use the heat or the air conditioning to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Open the car windows if your car starts to feel stuffy. Being uncomfortable while stuck in traffic will increase your stress level and it will make you irritable during the entire trip.
Use an Alternative Route
You don’t have to spend on expensive navigation tools when there are tools and apps that can give you information on the traffic ahead, as well as possible alternative routes. However, be ready for the possibility that the alternative routes may also be busy, especially if they are recommended alternative routes to closed roads such as the Tomas Claudio bridge.
Make a Schedule
Even if you’re just at home, there are still so many things to do. Create a schedule that you can follow so that you can manage your time and your chores. If you’re going to have guests over, prepare in advance. Set a day for shopping, a day for cleaning, and a day for meal planning and cooking. If you’re having a hard time keeping track of all of this, you can invest in an app, a calendar or planner to help you remember the to-dos.
Don’t forget to include break times in your schedule. Even if your schedule is packed, sneak in a 10-minute coffee time. Since it’s the holidays, schedule everything until the afternoon so you can spend the night with your family and friends.
Ask Help from Others
When things get too much, you can call a friend or ask a family member to help you with the chores. Even children can help ice your freshly baked cookies or design the house. Ask teenagers to wrap gifts and clean. If your friends aren’t that busy, call them over to help you with creating a feast that you can enjoy together afterward.
Delivery is the Answer
Is cleaning your house and preparing a big feast too time-consuming? Too exhausting? If it sounds horrible to drive everywhere and deal with traffic each time, you can utilize online services. You can save time by hiring housecleaning services or using apps and websites to get food delivered to your home.
Add a Holiday Spin
Even the most boring chores can feel exciting if you set your mind to think of it that way. Decorate your house while cleaning. Create a holiday playlist and sing along as you cook. Anything you can do on a regular day, you can do with a more festive spirit this Christmas season!
The holidays can be very tiring, but it’s a good time to spend with family and friends, and make up for all the times you were busy with work. If you can manage your time and chores well, then you can manage your holidays.