Have you ever felt you were one day behind where you should be? Meaning today is Monday, but I feel like I’m only caught up to things that should have been done Sunday.
Even for my typical quiet December, I’m starting to feel the pressure of the holiday season. I had plans Thursday night, Friday night, all day Saturday, and was running around all day yesterday running errands, seeing my friend in A Christmas Carol, and having dinner over at my friend’s house.
All fun stuff, but I’m pretty pooped!
That put me behind in blogging, paperwork, sending out Christmas cards, and you know…life stuff. And this coming from someone who has very little Christmas obligations in the first place!
I imagine I’m not the only one out there that is tired or a little stressed, and looking at Christmas cookies like if you eat another one you’ll puke.
It’s times like these it’s good to take a step back and get a grip. I think we often put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be the perfect hostess, friend, party guest, parent, daughter, son, or brother or sister. When the truth is people probably care a lot less than you think…in a good way of course.
So when you start to feel that way, here are some things you can do to make life this time of year a little simpler.
1. Don’t say yes to every holiday party. I know it seems there are a million parties this time of year. Pick your absolute favorites and skip the rest. The benefits are saving money by not having to bring a gift or a plate of food or wine to the party, saving calories by not stuffing your face at the buffet, the cost of a cab if you drink too much, gas, parking, etc. You may feel some guilt, but people will get over it. Now get into those yoga pants and pop in a movie.
2. Don’t overdue baking cookies or slaving over a hot stove every waking second. Save yourself some time and money by scaling back on cooking this holiday. The world will keep spinning even if you don’t bring spinach dip to the party. And let’s face it, we don’t need as much food as there seems to be this time of year.
3. Along those lines, cut back on alcohol, caffeine, and sugar! They are taxing on the system and adrenal glands, and can make you tired and grumpy, and possibly weaken your immune system. You don’t want to head to Grandma’s house with you and the kiddies sick AGAIN this year, do you?
4. Cut back on Christmas gifts, or get a gift cards instead. If you haven’t done this already, talk to your family and friends about scaling way back on the gift giving. I’m sure they would appreciate the break as well. Or I’m a big advocate of gift cards. Maybe some people are upset that it’s not more personal, but it’s better than getting a pair of ugly socks you’ll never wear.
5. Get some sleep!! Do steps 1-4 and you will find you have more time to get some extra z’s, and you won’t be jacked up on sugar and caffeine either.
6. Turn off the news. Obviously we have been faced with some pretty tragic news events this past week. Absolutely devastating…but even if that didn’t happen, it seems that all you hear aside from the usual bla bla bla is negative stories, often interwoven with Christmas related mayhem. Something that isn’t going to help get you in the “holiday mood.”
7. Pick and choose your charities. This is another area that people feel major pressure this time of year. It seems that people are coming at you from every direction from friends, schools, and the workplace, to the guy ringing the bell at the grocery store. It may be hard to say no, but if you’re reading this blog, my guess is you’re on a budget. Your money is important to you, so donate or buy gifts to the ones that mean the most to you, and skip the rest.
8. Find blocks of time to disconnect. Again, everyone reading this probably has a blog, twitter, facebook, pinterest, etc. It’s hard to avoid it completely, but if you are out for a dinner with friends, or visiting family, put down the phone or step away from the computer. It will be there when you get back, and the world won’t end if you don’t reply to that email right away.
9. Group your errands together. Plan ahead so you aren’t driving all over town shopping and running errands. Doing so can eliminate spending money on gas and stress on the road.
10. Do only those things that mean the most to you, and avoid or limit everything else. This pretty much encompasses 1-9, but it needs to be said again. Don’t burn yourself out being a people pleaser. Your time and energy are valuable, so do things according to your value system, and you will feel much more content this holiday season.
And of course make sure you keep exercising and eating healthy (says the girl who ate six chocolate chip peanut butter cookies on Sunday).:)
What things do you do to reduce your holiday stress?