Guest Author - danielle barone
Holidays can be less stressful if you take the time to plan ahead. Leaving things to the last minute and procrastinating can lead to a lot of overwhelming feelings, so why not take a few easy steps now to help yourself to feel good and enjoy the holiday with less stress? The following are a list of simple things that can help make this holiday season a little less stressful:
1. Most importantly, it helps to plan ahead. Take a minute right now and think of what your budget is, and what things you have in mind for the holidays and write it all down. Writing things down is a very effective tool for staying organized and relieving stress, especially around holiday time.
2. Start early. Remember that buying even one small gift or two a week can help trememdously if you begin now. Vow to make this year different from last year when you waited until the last minute and were completely stressed. Avoid long lines in overheated stores and malls by beginning the shopping process one step at a time.
3. Make lists for holiday gift giving and for all the things you need to accomplish in life. List writing relieves stress because it helps to give us a sense of control over sometimes overwhelming circumstances. List writing does work. Take some time alone with a notebook or legal pad, something with a lot of pages. Take one page for each list and then place all of your lists into a file that you can mark holiday or whatever is most helpful to you. I have found this to be essential for dealing with holiday shopping and tasks, and for just about everything I need to do. Trust me it works.
4. Look for sales each week in your local paper advertisements, and all year long. For example, did you know that a lot of toys are on sale in the month of October? It is helpful to stay informed about sales, even if that means shopping months ahead. Saving money will help you stress levels to decrease.
5. Shop online as much as possible. This can save you time, money, energy and stress in the long run. At holiday time too, a lot of online stores offer free shipping which can really be a nice thing.
6. Remember to be kind to yourself by doing things that make you feel good and are important to you personally. There is no worse feeling that taking care of everyone elses needs and forgetting about your own. That only leads to feelings of regret and unhappiness. Remember that you are important and begin today to take good care of yourself. Start small with baby steps if you need to. Keep a main list of things you need to do and a personal list of things you want to do for only you. This will help you to feel better not only at holiday time but every day.
7. Remember the true meaning of the holiday. Is spending time with your family the most important thing for you? Or is spending time alone to be at peace and get in touch with yourself more important? Maybe itís a little of both that you need. It is okay to celebrate the holidays in whatever way makes you happy. Itís okay to be different. You do not have to conform to the expectations of everyone else. Just do what makes you feel happy and appreciative of the holiday season. There are no offcial rules for what you should do at holiday time. Just remember to take some time to be grateful for the many good things you have in your life.