According to a survey by Healthline, 62% of people said their stress level increases during the holiday season. This time of year can be so overwhelming and the amount of extra work required to make the holidays happen, expectations we put on ourselves, all the while, keeping daily life moving along seems impossible at times.
6 TIPS on how to stress less this holiday season:
TIP 1 – WHITTLING YOUR LIST
This year, try whittling that list down to your must-dos—this is a BIG thing! Do the stuff that matters to you and cut anything that isn’t essential, and be brutal (even your grandmothers gingerbread cookies may not make it).
TIP 2 – ORGANIZE YOUR LISTS
Organize your thoughts on paper. Instead of everything being stored in your head, write everything down; your to do’s, your shopping lists, anything that is important to you. Then put this in a place that you will find it. I have a little book that goes with me in my bag, so if I have a thought on the road, I can write it down. Or if I have a thought at home, I know where to put it.
TIP 3 – TAKE DAILY BREAKS
Little breaks with regular and intentional activities will help you keep your stress levels down. Maybe you take a couple of deep breaths or go for a quick walk (leaving the phone behind), play with your pet or engage in a creative activity like doodling. Click here to try!
TIP 4 – DON’T SHOULD ON YOURSELF
Our ‘shoulds’ generally stem from the social norms, pressures and expectations of those around us, ahead of what we may truly want for ourselves. I should make a gingerbread house with the kids. I should bake shortbread, I should make my own Christmas cake, I should decorate the entire house. Really try and catch yourself when you are doing this and think if you want to do it versus ‘should’ do it!
TIP 5 – DITCH PERFECTIONISM
I learned this all too well and perfectionism can be a stress-inducing burden at any time of year. If you have fun making you table look like Martha Stewart great do it… if this stresses you out DON’T! The truth is that by striving to achieve some idealized image of holiday utopia, you miss the point of how this season came be festive in the first place and actually makes it harder to experience it’s joy! Really be honest with yourself… are you trying to re-create the rose-tinted memories of your childhood holidays or keeping up with the neighbours?
TIP 6 – GET YOUR REST
This requires you to say ‘no’ a whole lot more! It’s tempting to RSVP to every potluck and cocktail hour. Declining an invite can make you feel a little Grinch like. But try to think of staying in and curling up in your pj’s as a dose of preventive medicine.
Print these tips off as daily reminders, so you can enjoy what this wonderful time of year brings!