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stressed santa

Are you finding yourself dreading the holiday season because of everything you have on your plate? Here are 5 ways to breeze through the season.

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The holiday season is upon us and while it is a wonderful, happy, festive time of year – inevitably the stress kicks in! Here are a few ways to get through the season with your sanity intact:

1. Make lists

I am a list maker and trust me – this comes in handy when you have a busy day/week/month/year/life ahead. So take an hour or so, sit down with a cup of tea, and write lists of everyone you have to buy for, potential gifts, events you have to attend/host and what you need to do for those, decorating ideas for your home, and anything else you figure you will need to do.

2. Start your countdown

If you are hosting a Christmas dinner for family and friends on December 12, you likely don’t want to be shopping, decorating, and cooking all on the 12th! Figure out what needs to be done – consult your list – and decide in advance when you will prepare.

Decorating and cleaning your house can likely be done two or three days before, shopping for the supplies the day before, and some of the meal could be prepared the night before – leaving you plenty of time to tie things together and not be too frazzled the day of your event.

3. Shop early

It may be tempting to leave your holiday gift shopping until the last minute – I know some people like to wait to see everything that is out there before they buy. But do you really want to deal with the hassle of busy stores?

Late November/Early December seems to be the sweet spot for holiday gift shopping – the stores are likely not crazy busy yet, all the holiday merchandise is available, and stores often offer discounts to compete with other retailers – something not all of them do closer to the end of the season when they know everyone is getting desperate to buy what they have!

holiday shopping

Personally I think half the fun of holiday shopping is to go out and feel the festive environment and see what is available. But not everyone feels this way, and some people just can’t find the time either – this can be solved by online shopping!

There are very few things you can’t buy online these days which will be delivered right to your door. Browse and buy when you have time, in your pyjamas! But as I said above – it’s important to do this early to allow time for it to be delivered.

4. Take care of yourself

Most people get so busy during this time of year thinking and planning for others that they often forget about themselves. You’ll get through the season a lot happier and calmer if you are able to continue with your favorite activities – reading, journaling, knitting, etc – so don’t skip them! Even if you have a little less time than usual – 5 minutes doing something you love is enough to make a difference.

The holidays are notorious for heavy food and an abundance of baked goods – and I’m certainly not saying to stay away – but treating yourself only in moderation and eating healthy foods otherwise will keep you feeling healthy and ready for anything. And don’t skimp on sleep and exercise either!

5. Keep it simple

You don’t have to do it all! Maybe you approach the holidays with a sense of dread because you have SO much to do. Realize that maybe you don’t need to decorate your house, cook a huge meal, or have so many gifts under the tree.

You are probably thinking “Wait! These are traditions and I always do this stuff.” OK, continue if you must but you can still make it simpler on yourself. Get a group of friends together to decorate your home, make the dinner potluck style so everyone contributes, and propose to your family and friends that instead of everyone buying gifts for each other, you will draw names and each only buy for that one person. Already the stress of the holidays is fading away…

What’s your secret?

Do you enjoy the bustle of the holidays? How do you survive the busy season? Share your secrets with us in the comments!

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Erika Palmer

Erika Palmer is a Mom and freelance writer located in Beautiful British Columbia. She is currently working hard to create a home for her new family and is stumbling hilariously down the road to becoming a domestic goddess. In addition to her love of family, and reading and writing, she enjoys exploring new interests with friends, shopping for just about anything, and cuddling up with a great cup of tea and some sort of chocolate treat.