I know it gets said all the time but: “Where did this year go? How is it December already?” And yet here we are, in the middle of the most wonderful time of the year.
Family, friends, and good times are what the holiday season is all about. However, it's also a stressful time of year for a lot of folks. Many people feel stressed and nervous as the holidays approach for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they are having trouble finding the ideal present, that they are coping with family troubles, or that they are balancing an overbooked schedule.
You'll be relieved to know that there are actions you can take to make this holiday season less stressful for you. The following are a few of my go-to strategies for maintaining an optimal level of stress-free living during “the most wonderful time of the year” and beyond.
1. Ensure that your expectations are reasonable.
It's okay if the holidays aren't picture-perfect. If you put undue pressure on yourself to achieve perfection in everything you do, you are going to be disappointed in the end. Take some time and think about what it is that truly matters to you and your family during this time of the year. What are the memories you are looking to create? Are you able to let go of some of your expectations and make room for things that really matter to you and your loved ones?
2. Formulate a plan and commit to following it.
Being well-organized and having a game plan are two of the most effective strategies for lowering stress levels. Create some lists detailing what tasks need to be completed, how much time each task will take and when you intend to complete them. Does your list look reasonable? After that, do your very best to stick to your schedule. Although it is expected that some degree of adaptability may be required, you should make every effort to stick to the plan.
3. Keep your Christmas decorating simple.
To really enjoy the holidays, you don't need to put on a fancy show or spend a lot of money on decorations. Maintain a straightforward approach, and zero in on the things that are most important to you. Rather than trying to decorate every square inch of space in your home, pick an area of your house that you and your family spend the most time in and put your focus there. If all of a sudden you find yourself with extra time you can still put holiday sparkles into other areas of your home.
4. Refrain from taking on too many obligations.
It's crucial to avoid overcommitting yourself over the holiday season, even though it can be difficult to use the word "no." Having an excessive number of commitments will most certainly lead to feelings of tension and helplessness. Be picky about the things to which you respond "yes" to and make sure that you have enough time for the things that really matter.
5. Remember to take good care of yourself.
Considering how hectic this time of year can be, it's easy to put your needs on the back burner and put all your energy into getting through that to-do list. To really appreciate the holiday season, though, it is imperative that you prioritize your own health and wellbeing. Be sure to block out time for yourself every day, even if it's just a few minutes. The earlier in the day the better. That way you will be bringing that good energy into your day and you will be able to accomplish your tasks with grace. At the end of the day take a little bit of time to unwind from your busy day. Enjoy a cup of tea and a good book or simply listen to some holiday tunes.
I hope that some of these strategies will reduce your stress and allow you to feel more present and connected so you can enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year” a little bit more.
If you would like to chat about how to keep your sanity during this time of the year and still get the important things done, look for ways to connect with me below.
Claudia is a NBC-HWC Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, the owner of Vibrant Health by Claudia LLC and Virtual Health Coaches LLC. She studied health and wellness coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she also completed courses for Gut Health, Hormone Health and Advanced Coaching. She is a certified 21-Day Sugar Detox Coach as well as a co-author of the Amazon Bestseller “The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Soul Aligned Business.”
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