Finding Joy During a Stressful Holiday Season

Between the school’s holiday play, work obligations, Christmas parties, and gift shopping, the weeks leading up to Christmas can be a very busy and stressful time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and rush through your busy days. When you push hard to get it all done and keep up with the Jones’s, you may find yourself tired and exhausted on Christmas day, realizing that you’ve blown through the entire holiday season without stopping to enjoy it.

There are a few little simple things you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen. If you’re ready to make sure you can enjoy this holiday season, no matter how busy you are or how much pressure you’re under, keep reading.

Stop And Smell The Poinsettias

When you’re busy, it’s hard to notice the fun little things this season has to offer. Challenge yourself to stop at least once a day and “smell the poinsettias”. This can be as simple as taking a short break to enjoy a cookie and your favorite cup of tea. Drive around by yourself or with the kids in the evening enjoying the various light displays. Turn on Christmas tunes and sing and dance through the house. My favorite Christmas song that reminds me to enjoy the moment is “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. No matter what it is, make it a point to just stop and have some Christmas fun for a few minutes. It’s a great stress buster.

Get Your Own Little Elves

Santa doesn’t do everything on his own, and neither should you. Learn to delegate both at the office and at home. Have your assistant compile the report for the boss, and get the kids to help with cleaning up after dinner. If you’re really sneaky, you can even get them to help with wrapping their siblings’ presents. Let them in on the decorating, even if the end result is not a magazine-perfect photo shoot.

When you get some help with some of the things you have to get done, you’re freeing up a little time here and there to enjoy the season. You may even bring joy to those around you by your change of perspective and attitude. There is no better time than the present to get good at delegating.

Making A List And Checking It Twice

Last but certainly not least is learning to prioritize. To start, make a list of what you need to get done today, this week, or before Christmas. Prioritize it and then go back and check it again. Is there something on the list that really doesn’t need to be done? Strike it off the list! You will be amazed to find how freeing it can be to cut tasks and things out of your life. There are a lot of things we do just because we’ve always done them. When you stop and challenge yourself to focus on the important stuff, it becomes much easier to cut out busy work. That in turn greatly reduces the length of your to-do list and with it both the time it takes to get everything done and the stress you are under.

Follow Santa’s example, delegate, share the load. And just like him, you’ll find joy during this busy holiday season. Merry Christmas!

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