If the arrival of December has you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out rather than relaxed and looking forward to the holidays…take a lesson from Santa!
Let’s face it. As wonderful as Christmas is, with all of the family get togethers, Christmas drinks with friends, Christmas staff parties, Christmas concerts for the kids, gift shopping, baking and meal making…it can be a lot of work.
It can also be tiring and stressful considering everything that needs to be done in addition to keeping up with your regular workload and family & home responsibilities.
Throw in fewer hours of daylight and some of us might be getting grumpy and low in energy.
And then there’s the expense. Yikes! No wonder we’re stressed and feeling overwhelmed!
Whenever I face something big, demanding and/or overwhelming, Christmas for example, or a planning a new work project with lots of moving parts, there are two things that immediately decrease my stress and overwhelm.
The first one is making a list…just like Santa.
I don’t like just having a “To Do” list in my head because I tend to wake up in the middle of the night worrying that I’ve forgotten something.
For me, writing things down reduces the worry and having a concrete list with everything in front of me helps me to feel like I’ve got the situation under control.
I start by brainstorming and writing down everything that needs to be done. I keep the list close and add to it as I think of additional things that come to mind. While in past, I have had actual lists written on paper, I now find it easier and more convenient to use the Notes section on my IPhone so that it’s never far from my side and super easy to update.
I organize the general list with the use of headings or categories. For example, my Christmas list includes To Do, To Buy, To Bake, To Cook, and ‘Other’.
Rather than removing completed items from the list, I put check marks beside the things that are done. I do this for two reasons…1) keeping everything on the list even when checked off eases my mind. I know I haven’t forgotten anything or that nothing has fallen through the cracks, and 2) seeing progress helps to reduce overwhelm.
As we’re going away for a few days with the whole family this Christmas, my list includes booking a kennel for my hounds to packing the Christmas tree and decorations for the road trip and everything in between.
I’ll be cooking when we’re away, so I find it especially helpful to do up meal plans well in advance (each breakfast, lunch and dinner). Once I know what I’m cooking for each meal, I’m then able to make a grocery list accordingly and possibly even make some meals ahead of time.Having a list is a game changer as it reduces stress and overwhelm. Everything that needs to be done is all written down in one place and it helps me to get organized ahead of time rather than rushing around at the last moment.
Another benefit of having a list is that you can share the workload and arrange for help.
Is your Inner Voice saying “What? I don’t need to do everything all by myself?”
In addition to my list…there is one more thing that makes life easier…and that’s my calendar.
Every single thing on my list needs to be in my calendar. That way I know it will get done and leaves nothing to chance.
Sat. December 7 – bake world famous butter tarts
Mon. December 9 – bring butter tarts to office to delight clients and staff
I don’t know about you, but when I feel organized and on top of everything I feel good. No overwhelm, no rushing around at the last minute, no burning the candle at both ends, no stress. Now that sounds like a Happy Holidays to me!
Here is a great article I found with more ideas to reduce your Holiday stress.
By the way…as much as I love the group work and workshops I’ve been doing over the past few years I’ve missed working with Coaching / Counselling Clients one on one…so I’ve opened up my schedule a bit. If you’d like to work with me one on one get all of the details here
Cheers to a relaxing Christmas,