I’ve found there are two kinds of people – those who count down the days for the holiday season, embracing every holiday tradition around, reveling in the festivities, wishing it could last forever. And then there are those who dread the music, the shopping, the cooking, the decorating, the gift giving, the overwhelm.
If you’re experiencing stress & anxiety during the holidays, wondering just how you’re going to get it all done, here are a few tips to help…
Take Care of Yourself. We all tend to run, run, run, and sometimes forget to stop and take care of ourselves. Take a break. Go for a walk or to the gym, meet a friend for a cup of coffee or lunch, see a movie. Taking a break from the stresses will ultimately increase your productivity.
Make a List, Check it Twice, and Delegate. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Give up the notion that nobody can do it as good as you. Maybe your spouse doesn’t have the best gift wrapping skills; that’s OK. I’m pretty sure your gift recipients will forgive a less than perfect wrap job (if they even notice!). Take the time to make a detailed grocery list and send your teenager to the store for you. Ask a friend if they’ll be going shopping anytime soon and ask if they would mind picking up the online order you placed.
Click, Click, Click. Online Shopping is our friend. Not only for gifts delivered, but many grocery stores now offer online ordering with curbside pick-up. Grocery shop on your own terms in your PJ’s on the couch, save the hassle of crowded stores, while saving time. Winning!
Gift Give with a Theme. It’s not always easy deciding what to buy for each person on your list. Consider going with a yearly theme. For example, give everyone on your list this year PJ’s & Slippers, or the latest and greatest kitchen gadget.
Cook/Bake Ahead and Freeze. Ease the same-day stress of hosting the holidays at your home. Many cookies, pies, and casseroles freeze well.
Focus on the Present. When we take the time to appreciate the moment, we stop stressing about the rest.
Hire Help. A personal concierge can assist you with card writing, shopping, decorating, errands, and more. Hire a babysitter so you can leave the kids at home while shopping, or a cleaning service to clean the house before your company arrives.
Set Manageable Expectations. Some describe stress as the difference between our expectations and reality.
Most Importantly...Remember what the holidays are really about.
When it’s over and the dust has settled, it’s time to regroup, organize and head into the new year with a clear plate. Consider the one-in, one-out rule and for every new item you received as a gift, donate something you no longer use. If you have a home inventory, update it with the ins/outs. If you don’t have an inventory, there’s no time like the present to hire a Home Inventory Specialist!
A big THANKS to our model, Sherman, for being such a trooper. That's a stressed out face if we've ever seen one! Poor Sherman!