How to Reduce the Stress of Preparing for the Holidays
Updated: Jan 30
Do you love the holidays but dread the stress of getting ready for them? I do. That’s why I want to share ways you can stress less as you prepare for the upcoming holiday season.
Why Holiday Preparation is Stressful
The extra demands on your time make the holiday season a stressful time of year. Daily life doesn’t stop because of the holidays.
You still have to do the normal stuff to do, like meet work deadlines, take care of family, pay bills, do the laundry, etc.
When you add holiday shopping, decorating, and extra family and social events to your to-do list, stress levels soar.
What's the bottom line?
You've got too much to do and too little time to get it all done.
The good news?
There are things you can do to get this situation under control, so you feel better.
Strategies for Lowering the Stress of Holiday Preparation
Here are four steps to take now to make the coming weeks easier and less stressful:
1. List the top three things that caused the most stress during your holiday preparations last year. Was it a lack of time? Lack of help? Lack of energy?
Whatever it was, write down actions you can take now to prevent the same problems from happening this year.
2. Create a list of all the holiday preparation activities you need to complete. Set realistic expectations to avoid setting yourself up for failure.
Break large tasks into small ones to help prevent procrastination.
3. Add dates for completing the tasks on your list. Consider your other commitments as you set the dates. Be realistic. Don’t try to cram too much into a day or a weekend.
Record the dates on a calendar, and update as needed.
4. Do what you can and outsource the rest. If you don’t have the time, interest, or ability to do certain things, it makes sense to have someone else do them for you.
You’ll feel happier and less stressed, and you’ll have more energy to put into completing what’s left on your list.
Holiday Preparation Tasks You Can Outsource
Deep cleaning Hire a cleaning service to clean baseboards, windows, light fixtures, the refrigerator, picture frames, and any other infrequently cleaned parts of your home.
Holiday decorations Use a service to hang holiday lights and put up other seasonal decorations.
Grocery shopping Arrange for grocery pick up or delivery to save time and avoid holiday crowds.
Outdoor cleanup Let the pros take care of leaf and gutter cleanup, exterior window cleaning, lawn care, weeding, and pruning.
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Focus on Relationships Not Things
We remember more about the times we spend with people than the material things that surround us.
Prioritize relationships, not stuff. Time spent with people makes you feel happier and improves your quality of life.
The holidays are about connections. This holiday season take the time to reach out to the people in your life.
Let them know you care.
Send a card. Make a call.
Remember that, in the grand scheme of life, material things don’t mean much, but our relationships do.
Make a plan to get through all that holiday prep. Keep everything in perspective.
You’ve got this.
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