Now, more than ever, we need a break from the stressors of the daily grind. Usually the holiday season is the perfect respite we’re all looking for. However, without proper planning this busy time of year can simply add anxiety to your already crazy life. And this year, living a ‘normal’ life has been crazier than ever! Celebrating the season under “new normal” conditions may be more than you can stand. So, what do you do? Here are some tips to help make your holiday season peaceful, purposeful, and rejuvenating:
Your day always goes better when you take the time to plan. The same can be said for your holiday season. A few minutes each day can change everything. Take some time now, before the season gets too busy, and decide the most important things you want to do to celebrate. List those things in your planner and be sure to schedule them first.
Make a list—make several lists, actually.
Keep lists of the gifts you plan to give your friends and family. Track your budget. Keep a running list of the people, places, and events that you want to include in your holiday festivities. And don’t forget the little things—from making your traditional snacks to your cleaning routine. If you have kids who can help, give them lists of chores to do before they play, so you can maintain a sense of order in your home. Lists can be powerful tools.
Plan time for yourself.
You’ll have more energy to manage the strain if you take care of yourself. Schedule time to exercise, plan healthy meals to counter the goodies, and get plenty of sleep. Maintaining your strength both physically and mentally can keep you positive and energetic. A clear mind is essential when making the countless decisions involved in a successful holiday season.
It’s OK to say “no.”
You’re sure to be invited to participate (one way or another) in several family and community events. It’s nice to feel needed, but remember that every time you say “yes” to one thing, you’re saying “no” to something else. The reverse is also true. Saying “no” to something is saying “yes” to something more important. You only have so much time in a day. Make sure you’re saying “yes” to the things that matter most.
Spend time with friends and family.
Along with your busy holiday schedule, be sure to plan some unstructured time with family and friends. The quiet, unrushed moments are often when relationships develop and deepen, leading to some of the most memorable holiday experiences. If you can’t be close in person, plan times to talk on the phone or via video chat, read your favorite holiday stories together, send meaningful messages, and thoughtful greeting cards filled with words of encouragement.
Be willing to adjust your plans.
Chances are, there are going to be things you’d like to do this year that you simply can’t do. Your Christmas season may be a little quieter than you’re used to, but imagine how you might celebrate or even enjoy a quiet Christmas. If you harness a bit of youthful imagination, you can turn the simplest moment into something special and memorable. With a little extra planning, this unusual holiday season may become one of your most memorable of all.