Change Your Attitude, Change Your LifeHow many of you spend your holiday season stressed out, running around and pulling out your hair because there just isn’t enough time to get everything done?  Tis the season of parties, gatherings, dinners, and shopping.  All that running around and socializing can certainly drain your energy, especially if you over-commit. And over-committing is the one thing you need to avoid this holiday season.

It’s tempting to accept every offer that comes my way, but then I take a look at my calendar and I start to stress. After several years of doing this and leaving my holiday cheer at the door,  I started setting boundaries and saying “NO” to the events I didn’t want to attend.  And I refused to let guilt convince me otherwise.

Establish your priorities and kindly decline the rest.  It is better to say “NO” from the start than to over-commit and find yourself feeling obligated.  Do you really need to go to that cookie exchange or go out for drinks again with your colleagues?  In reality, it’s not a big deal if you miss a party or two. It’s more important to schedule in that down time.

Which brings me to the next point – the importance of down time. Winter is a season of rest and hibernation.  Animals know that, but we humans tend to forget and actually make this the busiest time of the year.  So when planning all your holiday joy, be sure to schedule in sleep, personal time, and relaxation. By doing so, you will have more energy to enjoy the holidays.

Here are some helpful ways to manage your time and avoid over-committing this season:

  1. Set a number. Determine ahead of time how many holiday parties/gatherings you want to go to this year.
  2. Write it down. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time keeping track of commitments if I don’t write them down. And if you are married, be sure to share your calendar with your spouse so you don’t double-book.
  3. Make priorities and checklists. Between gift buying, cookie baking, and running the kids around from place to place, you will have a lot on your plate. Each day, make two columns.  In one, make a list of your priorities -what  has to get done. In the other, put everything else. If you get to it, great.  If not, save it for another day.
  4. Say NO to tasks that drain you.
  5. Ask for support. Turn to friends or family for gift or recipe ideas; hire someone to clean the house during this time if you can afford it, especially if you are hosting parties.
  6. Buy gifts online. The Internet is a MAJOR tool to help you reduce the amount of time you spend in stressful shopping malls and lines.
  7. Get out!  Staying indoors is stressful and it is important to schedule in regular exercise and outdoor time. One of the main causes of the flu and common cold is a lack of Vitamin D and the sun is your best source. So bundle up and go for a daily walk to observe the rays and clear your head.


Looking for more tips on holiday management?  Listen to my interview on Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life.

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