This was a very timely topic for me this week. I wasn't able to sleep the other night, because I was thinking through everything that I needed to do. Working full time outside the home and then coming home, there is SO much to do. Having the time to get things done is tough. With limited time that means that often stress levels can go up and even more so around the holiday season, because we like to try to "special" things like bake cookies, put up special decorations or spend more time with family. All of these "special" things are great, but can increase your stress level.
So what can you do to help manage your stress around the holiday season? Here are some helpful tips and tricks that you will hopefully find helpful.
- Make a "To Do" List
- This is such an important and simple things to help clear your mind and decrease worrying about all that you have to do. Simply taking the time to put your thoughts onto a piece of paper helps you take those concerns and set them aside. You don't have to worry about forget anything, because you wrote that "To Do" List down and you can come back to it when you have time. When you are able to come back to that list and start accomplishing things, check off what you have gotten done so you can experience that sense of accomplishment.
- Prioritize Your Activities
- This is easiest to do, after you put together your "To Do" List, take a look at what you need to accomplish and then rank them in order of what NEEDS to happen first. There are always something on that list that takes priority compared to other items. For example, I had to get leaves raked in my yard and the lawn mowed one last night by the weekend. That was a task I wasn't wanting to do, but NEEDED to do before the weekend. So I needed to take time and do that activity before I go out Christmas decorations. I would have much preferred decorating for Christmas, but in terms of priority levels, decorating fell below the leaf raking.
- Embrace the Mess
- In the craziness of life, things gets messy. Sometimes your house is a disaster and some times that needs to be ok. If you have made out your "To Do" List and you have other things that NEED to happen first, then do those things and bump cleaning down on the list. Or if you have the ability to get help with cleaning through someone coming into your house or even have your spouse help you. Sometimes delegating this task is helpful. For example, I have embraced the fact that when William is up and wake the house will have toys everywhere. Then at the end of night, we walk around pick up toys and that is when things get cleaned up. So embrace the craziness and then try not to stress too much about it.
- People First
- This is a life motto that will always make you happy. Put people in your life first. Relationships with people you work with, people in your family, and your friends are important and that will bring you more happiness then anything else. When you make time for people, that is always the right choice. Taking the time to go out of your way to see that friend (you only see a hand full of times a year), that friend who lost their mother, your aging grandparent or a friend who might be lonely .... that always is the most important thing.
With the craziness of the holidays, remember that you are not perfect and things won't go perfectly and that is OK! The main things are taking time for those people you love and everything else will get done and it will be a fantastic end to the year! Now excuse me while I go tackle my "To Do" List - first up, Christmas decorations.