Tips to Stress-Less During the Holidays

Tips to Stress-less During the Holidays

unsplash holiday image

Holiday time can be quite stressful, with shopping and baking and trying to find that “perfect” gift.  Add to this decorating the house, writing Christmas cards and either hosting or attending holiday parties. All while either working at your job or on your own business. The combination equals stress and anxiety that can take the spirit out of the season.  This holiday can be a little more stressful for some due to worry about money.

 

To top it off, trying to balance it all can lead to more worry and stress, whether you are aware or not. Those little voices in the background may be screaming “it’s not enough” or ‘what will people think’ or, yet, you won’t be able to get everything done – Christmas will be ruined.’ I’m sure you can identify and, perhaps, have even more of these types of thoughts.

 

If you find yourself struggling to stress-less this holiday season, here are some tips to help you survive and enjoy the season:

 

  1. Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete, such as Christmas card list, gift list, food, etc.  Have specific action steps and completion dates. Start by penciling in events on your calendar to help yourself manage your time effectively.

Having a schedule for how you will balance between your work activities and holiday activities will make your schedule less stressful, as you will know what to do and when. When you check-off completed tasks, you will more of a sense of accomplishment which will lesson any overwhelm you may be experiencing.

 

  1. Set a limit for spending and how you will pay for your purchases. Overspending will only add to your stress, as will maxing out your credit cards so you avoid the new year credit card blues. Consider opening a Christmas Club account with your bank or a credit union so you will have the cash next year.

 

  1. Look for deals- look on line and the circulars in the paper. Look for coupons and specials. Many stores have special deals, such as buy one, get one, etc. (be sure to look at the fine print). See what you can make, or have someone else (i.e. Etsy) – homemade gifts take time and effort and are more meaningful.

 

  1. Plan your destinations and times – it is less crowded during the day or evenings as opposed to the weekend. If possible, go late at night to stores that are either open 24 hours or have late evening hours.  You may find good deals then, as stores will be looking for sales at that hour. Set aside a couple of hours a week to do your baking, decorating or gift-wrapping.  You will get a lot accomplished.

 

  1. Take time to debrief – have a good meal, exercise, watch a holiday movie, take a walk, or practice deep breathing, anything to relieve your stress and get your energy up. Focus on what is meaningful to you.
  2. Learn to say no – know your boundaries; don’t overtax yourself too much.  Say no when you feel overly stressed or pressured into doing things you don’t want to do. You can only do so much – over-giving never leads to getting back so know your limits and honor them.

 

  1. Have fun by being with friends or family, listening to Christmas music or watching holiday movies.  Take a drive and look at the decorated houses or stores. Take time to truly enjoy the season which can give new meaning to it.

 

  1. Give back – there are many people who are in need and you can make a difference by either volunteering your time to a charity or making a donation. Remembering the spirit of the season can be the best stress-reliever of all. Giving to others take the focus off of your issues and ‘all those tasks’ won’t seem surmountable.

 

This year, I’m vowing to stress-less; I didn’t over-decorate, which makes me appreciate how my house looks and feels; I am not going to over-spend on gifts this year, as I’ve done in the past; and I’m having to remind myself daily that things will work out fine. Try these tips and see how they help you to truly enjoy the ‘reason for the season.’

 

 

Be Accepting of Yourself While Striving for Greatness

There is absolutely no way for you to be successful and reach your goals until you accept who you are. You have to like yourself and what you do before anyone else will.

The world detects how you feel about yourself and often simply shares the opinion you have about who you are. It is said that what you put out is what you attract; so, if you are not kind and compassionate to yourself, then you will be coming from a low level of vibration which will show up in all areas of your life, especially in your work.

When you are at a lower level, stress and anxiety are free to creep in which can lead to a host of mental, physical, and emotional troubles. Productivity and time management decline, behavioral issues may arise (i.e. irritability, conflict, etc.), and disengagement to some level occurs.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you realize it or not, you do have control over your thoughts and actions so you step into your greatness. You must be yourself and free yourself in the process.

You are an individual who is unique. Your talents and abilities, you intelligence and interests, you opinions and tastes, make you who you are. There is no need to hide a part of yourself or alter a part of yourself for the sake of conformity. True success is about freedom and all truly successful people are individualists who have, more or less, accepted and glorified who they are. You should do the same.

At the same time, being yourself does not mean glorying in mediocrity. You need to be the very best version of yourself possible. This means that you have to work at being you.

You have to put the time into self-improvement. If you want to be great, you have to take daily actions that lead you there. Acceptance is not an excuse for laziness, cowardice or fear. Life is a privilege. It is a gift.

The gift and the privilege of life is that you get to be yourself, the best self you can possibly be. Use the gift; take advantage of the privilege that you’ve been given every day. Take time to breathe, to plan, to visualize, and to work on becoming the best version of you so you become great.

 

            “To increase your effectiveness, make your emotions subordinate to         your commitments” (Brian Koslow)

 

Don’t squander the chance. Let your own unique light shine forth. This is the light that will illuminate the path to real success in life. It will also be the light that attracts other people to you and shines the way to greatness.

 

Taking on Too Much (or Feeling Like It)

Do you ever take on too much (or it feels like you do)?  I know I have and, while I know I am making a difference, using skills and pursuing my passions, it still doesn’t take the feelings of overwhelm and resulting anxiety in trying to get “it”  all done – and done well.  I came to a realization earlier this morning after  spending this past weekend, and most of  of last night (5am), grading papers to complete one online class, starting 2 others, and writing an article for a publication, all while running my business.

While I took on all these tasks willingly, it still doesn’t take away the worry over how I will get them all done in a timely manner while giving value.   One thought that came to mind was the Serenity Prayer:

          God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference

I think this prayer helps to clarify that I can let go of trying to control my schedule and to be methodical in prioritizing everything on that schedule, which has helped to bring a sense of calm and accomplishment.  As you can see, this post is written late but, being true to my blog challenge – Day 26 – I may have finished other tasks earlier but, in letting go, got this done.  I believe I found the wisdom I needed 🙂