This week, I enlisted the support (Yes, I asked for help!) of my good friend Kelly Schaefer of Your Task Complete to write on her secret success strategies on how to maintain sanity through it! I wanted to give you her thoughts on it because she excels at this both personally and in her business (she offers personal concierge services locally and business concierge services globally!)! I know that by following her advice you will also be able to maintain your holiday spirit!
Take it away Kelly ~ and Thank you!!!
The holiday season is fast approaching. Turkeys are being cooked, or perhaps it’s a turducken?? Never tried one personally, but it seems to have a fan following regardless!
However you celebrate the holidays, with holiday preparations, visiting families, travel, and parties, it is inevitable to feel a bit over extended and often stressed.
Some staggering statistics that the American Psychological Association has reported in regards to stress related concerns during the holidays:
• 69% of people feel stressed this time of year due to “lack of time”.
• 75% of people feel stressed this time of year.
• 51% of people feel stressed out over the “pressure to give or get gifts”.
The holidays traditionally are a time for family and friends to get together and enjoy each other but with our never ending lists of chores and errands we can easily fall into one of the above categories…
I’ve mapped out a few ways you can prepare for the holidays, with less stress and truly enjoy your quality time with friends and family.
Take a look at what parties and events you’ll be attending or hosting. Map out the entire next 6 weeks of celebrations. By looking at a full time line, you’ll be able to visualize everything all at once. From food you need to buy for a holiday dinner to a new outfit you want to purchase for that “Ugly sweater” party! I highly recommend using a paper calendar for this so that you can easily view everything that you are responsible for. Techy folk can then easily upload their lists into their favorite “app” accordingly.
Create a master list:
Make a list and break it down into categories: gifts, wrapping supplies, decorating supplies, cards, teacher’s gifts, mail man, etc… Next, look at your plan from above and list any house warming gifts, even the new holiday dress you want. List everything! Once you have your list compiled, break it down into “stores”. This will prevent you from having to go back to the same store multiple times for forgotten items.
Try to have all your shopping done by no later than 2 weeks before Christmas. The lines and traffic alone will double your normal shopping time. This is such an added stressor that can easily be avoided. Not only does shopping so close to the holiday suck up your time, but it impacts those family oriented activities I’m sure you would prefer to take part in, such as parades and visits with Santa. When buying the gifts be sure to purchase stocking stuffers and all necessary batteries now so you don’t need to make a second trip later.
First off you don’t have to accept every invitation to every party or event unless this is something you truly look forward to. I’m not sure about you, but I know I’ve gone to a party and totally regretted it afterwards. If it doesn’t bless your soul… say no for a change and spend that quality time in a manner that enriches your life!
Are you hosting a party? Add some prepared foods to the menu, or consider having a meal catered this time of year. Instead of baking everything yourself, buy from your local bakery. Then heck you can pretend you made it yourself if you want to! Minimize gift swapping this year and consider creating an “experience” for someone instead of buying something that has limited enjoyment to it.
Make it a priority to take care of yourself:
It’s inevitable that even with all the planning you do in advance; we still put additional stress on our bodies this time of year. Be sure to remember to take time for yourself. Schedule a massage. Remember to value your own quiet time to reflect and meditate. Go for a walk in the brisk air. It’s extremely important to eat healthy and maintain your exercise routine.
Call in for HELP (like Laura did for writing this post!):
This season, why not try to eliminate, simplify and delegate! Here at Task Complete, we support our clients all year, but during the holidays we specialize in helping our clients truly love and enjoy this time of year without the added stress.
Kelly has also offered this valuable tool: Gift List Final PDF I’m using it this year ~ it’s simplicity of “Making A List and Checking it Twice” amazed me ~ no more ‘List list’ Now i have this! Thank YOU!!! What things can you do from Kelly’s suggestions that will make your holiday easier and your spirits soar?