Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Minimize Holiday Stress

Despite the celebrations and good intentions, the holidays are stressful for many people. Time demands, limited funds, unrealistic expectations, and family issues – all of these and more can turn what should be a joyous season into a hectic and even traumatic time. This year, make a conscious choice to create the holiday experience you want to have.

Start by being selective with the events you attend. Just because you’re invited to six parties, doesn’t mean you have to attend them all. Consider rotating your attendance; attend his employer’s party this year and yours next year. How would it feel if you went separately – you attend your work party while your spouse attends hers? Or simply just decline – whatever works best for you.
(scottchan /

Once you’ve decided on your priorities for the year, “pen” those on the calendar first, and plan everything else around them. Shopping, baking, and decorating can all be worked in; plan ahead so you can enjoy attending your son’s holiday concert.

Holiday time can mean cutting back on sleep as we strive to fit everything in. Avoid this temptation and maintain your sleep routine as much as possible. This will enable you to minimize stress, maximize your productivity, and maintain good judgment. Burning the candle at both ends only makes us unproductive as we waste time making errors and being indecisive.

Look for ways to save yourself time and effort. Order preprinted holiday cards and have your gifts wrapped by the store or at the charity booth at the mall to save time and do a good deed. Buy your holiday pies from the local bakery, or do your shopping online. As you work to accomplish what you need to, consider what tasks you can delegate. Don’t pass up any offers of help, and if others don’t offer to help, ask them to! If you can, hire some outside help for house cleaning or other chores you don’t need to do yourself. Remember that the holidays are for having fun, so be sure to allow time for relaxation.

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