For many people I know, this has been a year full of important events: engagements, weddings, pregnancies, births, new jobs, new homes…the list can go on. These joyous events are not without their own stress, but holiday stress can be a whole other monstrous beast!
It seems like we all push ourselves to the limit during this time of the year! We bounce between parties, shopping, baking, cleaning, entertaining, traveling, and then even more parties! The phrase “burning the candle at both ends” totally applies to my life during the holidays! But, I’ve come to realize that just a few tweaks to my routine can help get rid of some of the stress and lets me enjoy this wondrous time of year even more!
Here are a few things that I’m going to try this year to help me keep from going overboard and burning out.
Make a list
Make a list of what needs to be done. Keep it somewhere handy so you’ll be able to refer to it whenever you need to…a small notebook you can tuck in your purse, a note on your smart phone, or even one of those organizational apps. Where you keep your list isn’t as important as actually keeping one. Making a list help you to think through the details and allows you to prioritize what needs to get done first. Your list will help keep you on track so you don’t forget anything at the last minute.
Share the load
You are just one person. You only have two hands and 24 hours in each day. Don’t feel bad about asking someone to run an errand for you. There’s a good chance they need something from the store too! Talk to your friends and find out what common things you are all doing and work out a plan to help each other out. Coop things like babysitting, grocery shopping, gift wrapping, and runs to Starbucks!
Outsource the work
Hire a maid for a thorough cleaning right before the in-laws arrive. Ask your lawn company if they do outdoor decoration installations. Have your gifts wrapped by the store before you bring them home, or find a local club raising funds by wrapping your presents for you. Hire the neighbor kids to walk the dogs. Anything that doesn’t require your personal touch could easily be hired out.
Take care of you
Plan some “me time” into your holiday schedule. If you find yourself coming to tears over something small and insignificant, then it’s time for a break. Take a hot bath, get a massage, or a mani-pedi! Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest, too. Having a consistent bedtime routine is often times helpful. Try getting to bed an hour or so earlier a few times a week.
Reach out for support
If the holidays are an emotional time for you, don’t try to do it all by yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no to friends and family if you’ve reached the end of your rope. If the holidays make up uncomfortable, find time to sit down with a licensed professional for that much needed support. Don’t put it off until the last minute.
Be purposeful with your activities
It’s too easy to get caught up in all the tasks that you forget how important it is to do things that bring you joy. Play with your kids or grandkids, make a gingerbread house, watch silly movies, or anything else that reminds you why you celebrate. Start a new tradition if an old one is taxing and stressful.
Laugh (a lot) and be thankful
We’re all human and sometimes things are just going to go wrong. If things don’t quite go as you planned, put on a smile, have a laugh, and reflect on the wonderful things in your life. We have a roof over our heads, family and friends who love us, and so much more to celebrate in our daily lives.
Do you know how many days until Christmas is here?
Remember those tips about outsourcing and sharing the load? Well, we’ve got all kinds of wonderful ideas for the perfect gift for that special someone on your list! Let us know how we can help relieve some of your holiday stress today!
What about your family portraits … have you had them taken yet this year? Having annual holiday portraits is a great family tradition that will give you beautiful memories to be treasured for years to come. We’ve only got a few sessions left before the end of the year!