Putting love back into your creativity…and cookies.
Love is not irritable or resentful.
Does just the thought of the holiday rush make you anxious? Holiday stress is common even without the mounds of cookies to be made. Stress and anxiety can make you irritable and resentful of the very thing that use to bring you joy. Do not let it be the thief of your joy. There are strategies to manage it all.
- Evaluate your emotions: If you are feeling resentful or irritable while baking, it might be helpful to take a step back and assess what is causing those emotions. Baking should be an enjoyable and fulfilling activity. Consider whether external factors, such as stress or pressure, are affecting your mood. It’s important to find ways to address these feelings and create a more positive baking experience. Whether it’s taking a break, simplifying your baking projects, or seeking support from friends or family, prioritizing your well-being is crucial.
- Set realistic expectations: You are the only one who truly knows when you have hit your limit. Be mindful of how you are feeling. Are you stressed, frustrated, tired, or just not feeling creative? Think about possible solutions to increase your well-being. Set realistic expectations. Before the rush begins, sit down and truthfully reflect on just how many orders you can complete each week. Set up a calendar for your orders. When you reach your limit, let your customers know with a quick post on social media. There is something about posting “I’m fully booked for December” that gives you wind beneath your wings. Then you will not have to say no, which is so hard for me to do. They can then choose a week that is available or find another baker who is available and needs the work. Remember, we are a community that supports one another.
- Delegate whenever possible: I am the worst at taking this snippet of advice, but it is good advice. Don’t be afraid to give away some of the control. Is there someone you can call on or even hire to help with the non-decorating part of the process? Family members, husbands, wives, kids? Love me some child labor! They are happy to put the twist ties on the bags or put boxes together. You may need to bake a few extra cookies just in case there are accidents. Mom can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it for you. Siblings or friends can mix the royal icing using your recipe. It can be frozen ahead of time as well. Hire teenagers to help in packaging and delivering your orders. Have faith in them all to do a good job until they don’t. Then don’t be afraid to find a replacement.
Remember the essence of the holiday season is spending time with loved ones, not perfection. It’s a cookie. It will be eaten. A cookier is their own worst critic seeing all the imperfections. Yes, the ear on that elf has caved in, so what? That adds texture in my opinion. No one will notice but you.
If the stress becomes overwhelming, consider taking a break for some family time. Get a massage, have a date night with your loved one, watch a movie with the kids. Your family deserves you at your best level of joy. Love is kind, not irritable or resentful.
image credit: Freepik.com