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Halt the Holiday Hustle

It’s almost Christmas time, and these last couple weeks of December have me thinking….how can we make this time of year, a time that is supposed to be filled with joy, laughter, family and fun, less stressful and more about those things than about traffic, a million to-dos, and debt? It’s time to halt the holiday hustle!

Stress, anxiety, overcommitment, and overwhelm seem to have become the norm this time of year. So today let’s take stock of what we can control, and what we can focus on to create more peace, joy and harmony this holiday season. The first thing that is important in achieving that goal is picking your priorities. What is truly most important to you and bring you joy around the holidays? And what about your immediate family? Are you running around doing and being everything to everyone, when they don’t even appreciate it or care? Have you ever stopped to think or ask exactly what does make the holiday special for yourself and each person in your life, or are you just going through the motions doing things because they have always been done that way? Or because you think that is the way is should be done? Have those conversations this year about what is important to the people around you. Perhaps they love getting handwritten cards and letters. Or maybe they just want to do something together like cooking, decorating, or baking cookies. It’s possible that they just want a gift that is personalized and shows that you really know and care for them. Or maybe spending time together is their favorite, cuddling on the couch for a movie marathon or going to see the Christmas lights. Whatever that is, find out what makes it special for them and then do that. So many times, we buy into the commercialized hype and we get too far off track from what this season is supposed to be about, which is celebrating and spending time with the people we care most about.

Another way to halt the hustle this season is by chunking your time and planning ahead. Take a piece of paper and do a brain dump. Write everything down that needs to be done in the next 2 weeks and then figure out what you can do online and what can be delegated to someone else, and then everything else that’s left can be grouped together by location or task so that you can be most efficient and take the least time possible-with the least amount of stress. Remember, even Santa has elves. He doesn’t do it all himself!

Next is a hard one sometimes, but don’t overcommit! It’s easy to succumb to the pressure to attend every single holiday party and family gathering, but it’s not worth it if it makes you miserable and overwhelmed. Take a look at those most important traditions I mentioned earlier, and then choose wisely. If it doesn’t bring you joy, and bring joy to the people closest to you, it doesn’t make the list! Remember that you are in control here, and if you try to do everything for everyone, not only will you be miserable, but you probably won’t be a joy to be around either. And that’s no good for anyone in your life. A more joyful and pleasant you is who your friends and family want to spend their holiday with.

And finally, make sure you build in time to relax and enjoy the present moment. Part of what makes this season great is the time off! Cherish that by planning some relaxation time to reflect, rejuvenate and restore the harmony in all areas of your life. It could be a quiet cup of cocoa while you watch the snow fall, or that favorite holiday movie. You can relax alone, or with loved ones. Or both! The important thing is that you take time to reflect on the year that is coming to a close. What did you learn, and what do you want to do differently in the year ahead? And what are you most grateful for in your life right now? These answers will help you find closure in 2019 and look forward to a fresh start in 2020. And you’ll ring in the new year as a happier, more peaceful, and less stressed out you!

If you’d like to explore further what having the support of a mental wellness coach looks like, let’s talk.