It’s the most wonderful time of the year…most of the time. But, there are bound to be days when the chaos gets a little too overwhelming, the pressure starts to build, and you contemplate putting Bailey’s in your morning coffee one too many days out of the week. I love everything that goes along with Christmas: the shopping, the wrapping, the baking, all of the get-together’s, and traditions, and toasts to good fortune. That doesn’t mean from time to time that I don’t get stressed by any or all of the above. I imagine the stress increases once you have kids because you have Santa coming to your house, family Christmas pictures to arrange, and the kids excitement level is off. the. chain.
Here are a few tips to keep you sane, or as sane as possible, during the holiday season so that you can actually enjoy the month of December and your time with family and friends instead of viewing everything as one more hurdle to overcome.
- Change your mindset. Instead of viewing baking, wrapping, shopping as tasks, work on viewing them as fun activities. Include loved ones in the baking, drink a hot toddy while you wrap, and grab some Starbucks while you shop to make it more relaxing. Make it something to look forward to instead of something to just get done.
- Know that you are not a holiday superhero. You cannot and will not do it all. Make a list of the few important holiday festivities you want to participate in and trash the rest. Focus on the few things that bring you joy instead of obsessing over the twenty things you think you’re “supposed” to do.
- Plan ahead. One of the biggest causes of stress around this time of year is the last minute rush. Start now, plan out the next six weeks and check things off your to-do list as you go. Seriously, the afternoon you spend planning out the rest of the year will save you hours of anxiety, stress, and tears a month from now.
- Make time to do nothing. Don’t overbook or feel that every second needs to be scheduled. Leave some Friday nights free to sit by the fire, cook a nice meal, or go out on an impromptu date night. You will survive the holidays, but you need to make time for yourself in order to do so.
- Delegate. Are there things you want to do, but feel like you would need three more hands to get it all done? Use your resources! Your spouse is probably sitting around looking for direction, give him a task and put him to work. Give your kids some holiday assignments or reach out to your parents. You don’t have to do it alone.
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