Call it the holiday marathon: from Halloween until about Valentine’s Day, it seems that there is one event after another.
Between the food and the events and the days kids are not at school, between the gifts and the obligations and the unreachable business contacts (with their own schedule changes), between and because and on and on…
...the holiday season can be super stressful.
To save you some sanity (and time!) we offer this quick, 3-step guide to beating holiday stress.
First, Get Organized
Whether you like an old school desk calendar or you sync your family with an app, staying organized during the holiday rush is crucial to success (and less stress).
While it may not be the best time to clean out a closet or organize your spice drawer, at the very least you can get organized by:
● Putting everything on a central calendar.
● Reviewing upcoming events with your team or your family every week.
● Coordinating on any steps that will involve others.
Your calendar may be full, but if you can get organized as quickly as possible, you’ll prevent the added stress of letting things fall through the cracks.
Second, Ask for Help
Flying solo during the holiday season is a major cause for stress.
When you take that moment to get organized, next pause and decide where you most feel stuck or stressed.
Then, ask for help.
If you have a big event coming up, who can help you prepare?
Stressed about the gift giving, who could do some shopping?
Worried about a family member, who could do a little extra so that you can do a little less?
Often, if you let the people in your life know what is going on, and what your load is like, they will understand why you need extra helping hands.
Most people are happy to help, if you only ask.
The bigger problem is that so many of us think that we can’t ask for help. We think other plates are just as full, or we’re trying to prove we can do it all, or we fear things won’t come out as well if we don’t do it ourselves.
Asking for help is actually healthy! You can do it.
Finally, Say “No” and Let Go
Does it need to be the biggest and most amazing holiday event in the history of office parties to make an impact?
Must everyone get the perfect holiday card, and the most wonderful accompanying gift ever to know that you care?
Do the kids need the most magical Christmas ever or it will ruin their lives forever?
With so much going on, it’s pretty easy for priorities to get out-of-whack. We get pulled in so many directions, and have so many resources for seeing how “perfect” everything can be (social media, Pinterest, other media).
Whatever your core working values, your family values, or your religious, it helps to remember your personal purpose for the holidays.
Some of what is on the list may need to go.
Some of what people ask of you, you may need to say “no.”
But if you focus on your purpose, and throw in a little fun, you’ll have less stress and your friends and family will likely enjoy themselves more as well.
So say “no” to an event, and instead stay home and do something for yourself.
Make a craft.
Color by candlelight.
Play a game.
Everything on the list will still be there tomorrow (the ones you didn’t delegate, that is).
You’ll come back refreshed and ready for the next big something.
More importantly, you’ll have a little less stress this holiday season.
Give and Take Help
Another way to change the tide on a dammed up thinker is to help someone else.
Assisting another with their writing, helping a coworker with a task, that sort of thing.
While you’re at it, ask for help:
● Get collaborative - Run your ideas by a coworker.
● Get imaginative - Try a brainstorming session with friends, even if they work in another field.
● Stay positive - Consulting an internet forum (such as Reddit) or asking Debbie Downer for an opinion will generally backfire...so stick to the assistance and input of those who truly want to help you (without overpowering your ideas).
Though certain types of work (like writing) can be inherently a solo activity, getting towed out of a rut may involve another’s truck.
People find “inspiration” in different exterior forms...through natural beauty like a forest or the ocean, through the hub of activity of a metropolis, or through the aesthetics of a cathedral, to name just a few.
If you can get to one of those spaces (see “Get Moving”) above, fine...but also consider making your space a little more inspirational.
Organize your desk with acrylic desk accessories. Hang up a picture of your favorite inspiration.
Create inspiration and get moving again, right where you are!
How have you gotten going again after grinding to a stop? Comment below and share your ideas!