Wednesday, October 15, 2008

destress your holiday season


Today I participated in a "Holiday Stress Buster" event in for GROW (Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women). I was a table facilitator and spoke about different ways to reduce the stress that comes along with the Holiday season. I've listed some of the stress busting tips below. Implement these into your pre-holiday routine and you will eliminate a lot of stress in the next few months!

1. Delegate. There is a lot of difference between "I do it" and "It gets done." Which is more important to you? I hope, "It gets done." Sure it's fun to do it all, but that may be an impractical goal that only serves to frazzle and stress you out. Share the shopping, cooking, cleaning and other responsibilities with others. You don't have to do it all yourself. It would be nice if we could, but there is only so much time. And people generally appreciate the opportunity to participate in the preparations.


2. Set a Budget. Nothing can create more stress than bills and debt. We want to be generous during the holiday season, which makes it easy to fall prey to impulse buying and go all out with the credit cards. Then, we experience the post holiday blues, when the bills arrive in January. Plan what you will spend before you go to the stores, and then stick to that budgeted amount when you are in the stores.


3. Have a Don’t Do List. Pick five or more things and decide NOT to do them. Ask your kids what they didn't like last year -- such as stringing lights on the shrubs or hand-making cards -- and skip these things. There is no need to spend time doing things that don’t interest you or your family. Spend that time doing things you actually enjoy…like baking or going ice skating.

4. Plan Ahead. See if you can visit one house on Christmas Eve and another on Christmas Day, for example. Or perhaps visit one family on Thanksgiving and another on Christmas. Perhaps your family might even be willing to celebrate on odd days, like the 23rd or 26th--you don't know unless you ask. Another possibility is just having everyone over to your house. If you don't want to cook, you can always have it catered, or ask everyone to bring a dish to pass.


For more organizing tips, visit my website: www.andreadekker.com

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