The holiday season is upon us. Do you have your tree up, lights on the house, Christmas meal planned out, house decorated, guest rooms cleaned, and gifts wrapped? No? Good! You don’t need to stress about everything all at once, and in fact, try to avoid holiday stress all together. Excess worry and stress zaps the fun out of the season. Instead, try these things to make this time more enjoyable:
- Make a stress list. What is worrying you right now? What do you usually end up stressing about in years past? Make a list and brain-dump it all. Often just getting thoughts out of your head and onto paper so you don’t have to keep thinking or remembering it helps.
- Next, try finding a few things on your list that you can simply skip. Make it ok in your mind to not do EVERYTHING on the list.
- Look at your list and see what make sense to hire done. Can you hire someone else who loves baking to make your pies? Can you hire your house cleaned or your softener salt delivered? Can you pay a friend to decorate your house or a neighbor to hang your lights. It’s not cheating; it’s working smarter, not harder.
- Your next step is to circle the things you can delegate. Apply this step liberally and ask others to help in small ways or take on the entire item themselves. Often times people want to help, but they don’t know what to help with. Tell them.
- Prioritize your remaining items that are left for you to do that you feel really need to get done. Put them in order of what must get done first. This is your time to do some pre-planning and organizing. Break down tasks into smaller tasks if you can.
- Next, identify anything that can get done ahead of time like cooking and freezing parts of the meal or cleaning the guest bedroom.
Slow down, take a breath, and try not to let the holidays be stressful. Let them be filled with those you love and memories waiting to be made.