12 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress During the Holidays

holiday planning task listDo you have wonderful memories of the holidays? When the holiday season rolls around, it can be a fun and happy time that many people spend with family and close friends.

The holidays can stir up a bit of stress as well. Whether it's the pressure of buying the perfect gifts, attending all the events you're invited to, hosting your own gathering, or even trying to get important projects (or milestones) completed before focusing on family time, you might find yourself feeling rushed and in the midst of lots of hectic planning without enough time to get everything done.

12 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress During the Holidays

If you get overwhelmed during the holidays, here are 12 simple things you can do to push holiday stress aside and have a more enjoyable time.

At Work

1. Plan ahead. Make a list of important tasks you must accomplish, especially if you will be taking several days off to enjoy holiday activities.

2. Get organized. Rank your goals in order of priority. What needs to get done first? Second?

3. Put it on your calendar. Block out specific times on your calendar to work on your most important projects. If you use a digital calendar or project management application, add reminders to keep your priorities top of mind.

4. Delegate.What tasks can a colleague or team member assist you with? Can you remove a task completely from your list by giving it to someone else?

5. Delay. Be realistic about everything that you can get accomplished. Are there tasks that can wait until you return to work?

6. Be flexible. Does your company offer flexible working hour or telecommuting options during the holidays? Take advantage of them! Flexible work hours will allow you to take time off as needed during the holidays and working from home can save your time and eliminate your commute to and from the office.

At Home

1. Make a list. Will you buy gifts this holiday season? Who will be receiving gifts from you? (Don't forget about your co-workers!)  How many gifts will you purchase? What specifically will you buy? Get it all out of your head and make a list.

2. Stick to your budget. Nothing makes the holidays more stressful than spending more than you planned to. Use a spreadsheet (check out Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets) or a money management app like Mint to set budgets and track your spending.

3. Choose your shopping days. Grab your calendar, look for ideal days and times to go shopping, and block them out on your calendar. Don't forget to factor in travel time and long lines at popular retailers. 

4. Skip the lines. No time to go shopping? Shop from your laptop or mobile device instead. There are a number of online retailers that will wrap and deliver gifts to you (or the recipient). Some online stores may also offer reduced or free shipping. Win!

5. Be picky. Have you been invited to several holiday events? Be realistic about the ones you can attend so that you don't get overwhelmed with too many parties to attend.

6. Grab a friend (or two). Divvy up the shopping, wrapping, decorating, and/or cooking activities that you have planned. This will lighten your load, reduce your stress, and help you to enjoy the time you spend with family and friends.


Today's post was written by Deb Lee, CPO®.

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