5 Organizational Tips to Deal With Holiday Stress
Before I give you the 5 Organizational Tips to Deal With Holiday Stress, let me ask you. When did the holidays become so overwhelming instead of a joy? Has it always been this way and we did not take notice because it was our poor mothers doing all the work? But now that its us doing the work, meeting demands, making dreams come true, its become beyond demanding and to complex? I don’t want to shun my duties as a dream maker, but damn I could use an Elf. I am by nature not organized, but my “will do“ attitude always wins in the end, and I refused to give into the joy-killing stress. I compiled a few tips to help ease that stress and bring relief to your holiday memory-making ride.
Here are 5 ways we can remedy the holiday stress:
1. Create a Schedule
We get overwhelmed by things to do. There is nothing worse than realizing there are 300 things you need to do and only 28 days left to do it in. This can create anxiety and anxiety can create an overwhelmed feeling.
Create a Schedule of when things must be done
Take out your calendar and write times of known plans. Writing things down will allow you to relax, and not feel like you are forgetting something. Write down things like Holiday card send off, Cookie baking, holiday parties, family traditions, and Local Happenings.
2. Create a Budget For The Holiday
How we view our expectation of the holidays can make or break our joy. Trying to keep up with the neighbors or friends can really up our level of stress and ruin a fun joyful time.
Create a complete holiday menu consisting of the things you want to make, and start looking for sales. You can look for canned items up to a month in advance. Most grocery stores give incentives like a free turkey with 75 dollar purchased. And that is easy to spend when you are buying ingredients. To decrease the financial load and workload, delegate dishes to friends and family who are coming (have NO shame in asking for help, they are eating too). If you find yourself worrying too much about creating a menu and getting it right, then don’t. You can try another holiday tradition like a movie night or hot coco night. It’s a time of get togetherness and joy, not stress. Do what you can and don’t feel guilty for what you can’t.
3. Use Affirmations Release Family Tension
Families are complex and lets face it, something we would rather not face at times. How we deal with family dynamics can wear at our hearts and cause serious strain on our health. One way to deal with anxiety that comes with strained family situations is by saying statements to ourselves, called affirmations.
Affirmations are great chant to release and refocus, they help affirm your intention, like staying calm, or letting go of tension. This statements help relax our body and mind by reinforcing positive feelings and behaviors of the body. Here are a few examples; say out loud, maybe go to the bathroom or your car, deep breath and repeat the below affirmations.
- I am not responsible for how others feel.
- I matter too, my feelings are valid, I am important
- I release any guilt that I have accumulated.
- I release fear and tension from being around my family.
- I am free to leave if I feel my family is not respecting my boundaries.
4. Learn to say Yes or No
Putting too much on our plates can leave us rushing around from commitment to commitment. With our minds paying the price of “getting it all done”.
Say NO if it’s a tradition you don’t enjoy, if you don’t enjoy it chances are someone else doesn’t. On the other side, say yes more often, don’t isolate yourself because its your habit. It’s said that the mind needs social interaction to keep happy. I find that I enjoy myself more often than not when I go to something that I just wanted to shun. But don’t overdue it, remember to enjoy your holiday social, it’s a fine line.
5. Give Experiences Not Presents
I grew up experiencing both ends of the spectrum when it came to gift receiving. I am adopted, and when I was in the orphanage I maybe received a pair of socks, but boy was I overjoyed. Then I got to experience the over abundance of my adopted moms generosity and was also grateful for that experience. But having both, the only thing a child or family would miss is YOU. I missed my Mom, I missed love, I missed food.
Jack Weinstein from Rustic Pathways explains it well in this infographic.
I give presents because I love giving, but I also will not overdo it. I try to give experiences when possible because of what I learned in that orphanage. I noticed my kids getting better with realizing the value of experiences when they started asking for vacations or outings instead of presents, I was very glad to see that. They seemed to enjoy getting to do something unusual or fun more than they enjoyed another toy. I have also found that it brings our family together doing things instead of buying things. Plus you will wrap less too. Give your time, your memories will thank you!
Ho! Ho! Ho!
The holidays are about the feelings, but make sure it’s the right feelings. Get rid of stress by setting a schedule, setting a budget, practicing affirmations, saying yes/no often, and giving experiences instead of presents. You are far more important to your family than you realize, sit, sip and hug one another. Use the above organizational sets interchangeably with other upcoming functions, it can take a load of just writing things down, or doing a bit at a time.
Check out my 14 Ways Meditation Changes You for the many benefits of meditation.
And Emotional Exercises to Stop Stress.
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