The holiday season offers an opportunity to celebrate who you are, the people you love, and the values you cherish. During this joyous time of year, many of us also take on additional tasks into already tight schedules which could lead to stress and overwhelm.
The most effective way to deal with the stress and overload is to take care of yourself and to do the preparation that's necessary to manage the inevitable ups and downs and challenges that go along with this really busy time of year.
Make a conscious choice.
Make a list of all the things you want to do and decide which ones are the most important. Ask yourself what you want the holidays to be or to mean.
What is the most important part of the holidays for you?
What can I change, give up, or do differently this year that will make this a joyous season for me?
One of the things that is a challenge during the holiday season is doing too much at the last minute, so make sure that you're making lists and that you're writing tasks down in a calendar so that you're scheduling excellent preparation time for everything from gift shopping to gift wrapping to food preparation, home decorating and sending cards.
Also remember to involve others in preparing in advance. The more specific you are in your request, the more successful you'll be.
And for those who still feel like you're taking on too much, learn to say “no” when people ask you to do just one more thing.
Take time for yourself
What tends to happen during the holiday season is things get very busy and you tend to neglect your own health and wellbeing which means you get greatly more tired and your stress increases significantly.
So now more than ever it's really essential that you follow the basics of taking care of yourself: and make sure that you're getting enough rest, and that you're getting some exercise. Take a ten minute break where you take a quick walk outside, or when it's too cold outside, run up and down your stairs in your house for a few minutes.
Also make sure you are eating healthy which will require some planning, particularly when you're going to all these parties and get-togethers. Make sure that you eat healthy snacks before you get to the party so you're not as hungry when you get there. Be very mindful that when you go shopping that you have healthy snacks with you as well – in the car, in your pocket or in your bag.
In addition, find even just 15 minutes every day for yourself to recharge, and you may need to get creative in how you do this. Perhaps you need to stop on your way home from work and take a quick walk for 15 minutes. A good practice is to put it on your calendar to make sure that it happens.