Welcome to Blogmas, Day 2. I figured we ALL needed these reminders early on in the game in December. The stress seems to layer itself on like layers of thick snow in the arctic, lol, as one thing comes after another, then after another, until we are paralyzed and can’t move.
We all have those sugar plum visions in our heads, or perhaps memories of the past, to meet or to top! It can be fun and exhilarating, until it all comes so fast and there’s no more time, so then the late night starts, and we stress ourselves out, push past our limits, and we are exhausted, and sometimes even sick by the time Christmas gets here.
Tips for Less Stress During the Holidays
- Know Your Limits. Don’t plan more than you are capable. Be careful with your schedule leaving time for all the elements of Christmas that will happen. You will need time for decorating, shopping, wrapping, Christmas events, and spending time with friends and family. It’s a puzzle fitting it all in and that leads us to our next point.
- Plan Ahead. Go ahead and put on the calendar time you need for all those things mentioned in the paragraph above. Set party dates, travel dates, but be sure and set your own dates for shopping, wrapping, baking and other Christmas preparedness so that you get time to do what you need to do and guard those dates and times like mad!
- Make Lists. Go ahead and make Christmas shopping lists, menu lists, grocery lists, to do lists.
- Consider having a Christmas Notebook or use a Phone Reminder or To Do List for all of the lists. Have it small enough to fit in your purse, but big enough to write lists in.
- Consider using a To Do App. I use my iPhone’s Reminder app and have all of my to do’s scheduled for certain days. I open it each day to see what my list has for me that day. I also use an app called Focus Matrix for an aerial view of what all I want and need to do that does not yet need to be on my current radar. I keep an eye on it weekly and move things to my iPhone reminder if something is coming up that needs to get on the active to do list.
- Prioritization. I prioritize my lists as my to do items pop up each day. It make sense to do the most important items first, and get a handle on the hardest and largest items first.
- Get as much done in advance as you can. Execute your lists. Decorating, shopping, wrapping, etc.
- Buy things in advance. Stock up on gift wrapping supplies and grocery items in advance that are non-perishable. And of course get as much Christmas shopping done as you can in advance.
- Set Reminders. I use my iPhone Reminder app for that too.
- Short cuts are your friend. How many times do we pick the most wonderful dish to make and then realize we don’t really have time to make it? All the time! So just go ahead and know that you are going to be busy and pick something delightful but easier for the task at hand!
- Self-Care. This is more important than you think. It’s not just about getting yourself a Starbucks on a self-date, but it’s about your health. Getting sleep, water intake, fruits and veggies and greens daily, at least 10 minutes of exercise, vitamins – especially vitamins B and D, for women. You actually have to focus on this sometimes because the day is gone and what did you eat that was green? lol. We need these things to function and keep our immune systems up. The body doesn’t process correction when you don’t have these basic needs met.
- Ask for HELP if you need it. ASK. Ask nicely. We all know a few folks who demand things without asking. That’s not what I’m saying. Ask kindly of your family, for example, if someone can please do XYZ (stop at store, take out the trash, run an errand) because I’m running out of time.
- Take 3 big breaths and breath out slowly.
- Get fresh air for a few minutes. Sip coffee, glass of wine, set a timer, if you need, let the thoughts flow freely during this time, ground yourself.
- Anticipate the surprises. What could they be? You forgot a gift? You need to suddenly make something for a party? A surprise last minute invite to a gathering? An extra guest for dinner? Plans get changed. Try to guess these things and be prepared for them. If we can manage this one we’ve arrived at being the ultimate of holiday planners! 😉
I’m curious if you have any to add to the list, to help all of us as we go through the Holidays. Hopefully this list will remind you to get started early, plan ahead, make lists, and execute with as little stress as possible. Enjoy all the planning, shopping, gathering, and doing this season.