Kick Holiday Stress to the Curb with these Simple Strategies

slow downAs the holidays are fast approaching, we all have many commitments.  We might have family coming to town to visit (and possibly stay with us), holiday parties to attend and plan, special cooking to do or year end business goals to meet.  In other words, this time of the year can be extremely hectic and stressful.  If we aren’t careful, we can overcommit and our adrenal glands (the glands that are chiefly responsible for releasing hormones in response to stress) won’t be happy!

Now, I know you have things to do, so let me share how I get it all done and still make some time for myself.

Pre-Plan & Prioritize.

I know when I think of the long list of things that I have to do, it can be overwhelming.  The first thing I do is put everything on my calendar and then see how much time I have in between each commitment.  I do this to determine whether I’ll be able to attack each one sequentially (that’s my favorite method).  The next thing I do is to determine whether each engagement will serve me.  I do that by using a simple mathematical equation:

Does the joy that the event or engagement will give me outweigh the amount of effort and stress it will cause? 

JOY > Effort + Stress

If the answer is yes, I keep it on the list, but if it’s not, I take it off.  Now I know it’s not always that simple because sometimes we have engagements that we “have” to go to that don’t come out to a positive in the equation, but try to use this as a guide.

If I can’t plan my events sequentially, I carve the time that I do have into blocks for each event dedicating more time to the events that are first and allotting a smaller amount of time to the events that appear later on my calendar.  For example, I’m doing a talk, “Achieving True Wellness Through Clean Body Living,” this weekend, but also have three other engagements next week.  My top priority right now is to focus on the talk this weekend, but I will be dedicating a little bit of time to a couple of the other engagements I have next week.

Create Time. 

If I could actually create extra hours in the day, I would be a millionaire already!  What I mean is try to analyze your day and see whether there is any time where you can multi-task.  I actually wrote this blog post during my train ride home, so I made good use of that time :-).  Is there anything that you can do while commuting that will shorten your list of things to do when you get home?  Can you make use of the time you spend in the kitchen by listening to something business related while you cook?  If you pass the market on your way home from work, can you do your grocery shopping then instead of making a special trip there later?

Say No. 

Many of us often overcommit and say yes to things that we can’t do without taking ourselves out of our comfort zones.  I am definitely guilty of that and am actively working on it. When we’re asked to do things that will be too much of a stretch, especially during the holiday season, simply (but nicely) say no.  If you can’t completely turn down the engagement or commitment, reschedule it for a later date when you’re less busy.  Simply let the person know that you would love to be involved or attend, but you have other engagements and ask whether they could keep you in mind for the future.  Family and close friends can actually be the worst offenders.  I’m very honest with them about what I have going on and it generally works.

Make Time for You Every Day. 

With everything that you have going on, it’s imperative that you make some time for yourself every single day!  Take some time for you every day – whether it’s making yourself a delicious, nutritious smoothie, getting to bed 30 minutes earlier or meditating for 5-10 minutes.  Taking this time for you will help you to be much more efficient and you should get everything accomplished.

This holiday season, I challenge you to use these strategies to help you stay sane during the busyness of the season.  Which ideas will you adopt to make this happen?  Let me know in the comments below.


– AmiCietta

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