Weekly Quick Tips

Stress-Free Holidays

Step 1: Know Your Priorities

What’s most important to you this time of year? For many families, spending time together is the number one priority. Everything else, while nice, pales in comparison. This means that while you may be tempted to overdo it on decorating (or any other holiday ‘to-do’), it’s time to step back and simplify. Then you can redirect the time you would have spent going overboard on decorating, gift wrapping, etc., back to just being together with loved ones. And it’s also important to set your non-negotiables straight. If cutting down a fresh tree is a family priority, even though it’s quicker and simpler to go to a local tree lot, then simplify other tasks such as buying store-bought cookies instead of baking from scratch.

Step 2: Delete Any Task You Can

If your schedule is already jammed packed with obligations and to-do’s, now is the time to renegotiate your schedule with yourself and others. What can be eliminated or deferred until after the holidays? Next, take a look at your holiday list together with your family to see what tasks and activities they no longer are interested in doing this year. Scratch those from your to-do list, knowing you’ve just created some breathing space.

Step 3: Let Go Of Perfection

Wouldn’t you just love to have a perfectly decorated home and to give the just-right gift to each person on your list? Of course you would! In and of itself, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this desire. The trouble is that to-do list of yours. If your schedule is already full, it can be really tough to attempt a perfect holiday and still feel joyful. So, decide what activities are really important to go all out on, and then decide which tasks simply need to get done. Letting go of the desire for perfection will not only save you time, but you’ll feel better too. ‘Done’ is better than ‘perfect’, and easier too.

Step 4: Simplify or Delegate Tasks You Don’t Enjoy

Not every task on your holiday to-do list is enjoyable. Some things you love to do, while others are an energy drain. If you don’t enjoy doing a task, look for ways to simplify it, or if that’s not possible, delete it from your list entirely.

Step 5: Keep Your Eye on the Prize

The prize isn’t January, by the way! The true prize is simply creating enough space so that you can be able to truly enjoy the time between now and January. Change the rules so that this time of year works for you. And continually monitor how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling good, you’re on the right track. If you’re feeling stressed and harried, step back and re-evaluate. At the end of the day, the real prize is a joyful holiday season.

The beginning of the holiday season is upon us! While the season between Halloween and New Years is busy for everyone, it goes without saying that for maximum enjoyment during this time of year, being organized is a must! They say that stress is proportional to the difference between our expectations and reality. This helps to explain why the holiday season can be so stressful. If there’s one time of year that’s loaded with expectations, it’s the holidays. Get started early, say goodbye to stress and enjoy the holidays!

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