Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Stress Relief

Christmas gifts.
Christmas gifts (Wikipedia)
by Linda Binns

It's that time of year again where we experience more socializing, family gatherings, shopping and gift giving, spending, baking and decorating. Some people love it, some people hate it.

Whether you like it or not, it's here. This can be the most stressful time of year for many, and it doesn't have to be that way.

Here are a few tips that may help you relax and enjoy a stress-free Christmas and holiday season this year.

Stop trying to do it all

Stop trying to be superwoman by attempting to do everything by yourself. You probably have a very busy life on any normal day, and now you're adding some of the following to your schedule: buying and wrapping gifts, hosting a holiday party, cooking for the party, buying and decorating a tree, decorating the house, helping the children with the gifts that they are purchasing, and probably much more besides.

You can't expect to fit all this extra work into an already busy schedule and stay sane. It won't work. You can either put something else on hold to give yourself the time to handle things or, let other people help you. Do you have to be the one to do all the gift buying and wrapping?

Find easier ways to do it and if you do have to do it, then consider gift bags to make things easier. Get help with the cooking, or purchase things that are ready made (yes, the family will survive).

Make a list of everything that needs to be done and allow others to help you do it. Don't try to do it all.

Make things simpler

Sometimes people might be happier with a gift certificate instead of a gift that they don't really need or want. Do you really need to be the one hosting all the family gatherings or could someone else do it? Do you really need to accept every invitation?

Often you just pile extra things on your plate because you've always done it or because other people expect it. The world will not fall apart if you say no to some things and make life simpler for yourself.

Set a realistic budget

One of the biggest causes of stress at this time of year can be the amount of money you spend. If you're on a strict budget and can't afford to buy gifts then let people know. Be honest.

You may be surprised - some people might be relieved if you tell them you're not going to exchange gifts this year. You may be helping them out as well. If you typically spend a large amount on certain people, ask yourself if you really need to spend that much. How can you reduce what you spend?

Consider making a charitable donation in somebody's name instead of giving a gift or choose something from a wish list (like Amazon.com) that you know they will want. How many times have you received things that you don't want? Giving gifts that someone doesn't really want is a waste of time, effort and money. Don't force yourself into more financial stress this year.

Make time to relax

With everything that's going on in your life, make sure you take time to relax and take care of yourself. Make it a priority. You need to regroup and re-energize and then you'll be able to enjoy yourself so much more.

Be present

How many times have you organized an event and then not enjoyed it because you're so busy preparing for it and then taking care of everyone when they arrive? At the end of the event you're completely exhausted and you haven't enjoyed yourself one bit, because it's been so much work!

Get some help with your holiday events, don't try to do it all. Be present with your guests. Put food and drinks out and let them help themselves. Take the time to participate and enjoy, instead of taking care of everyone else.

These are a few tips that just might help you enjoy yourself a little bit more this year. Keep things simple, don't overdo it and remember to take care of yourself.

Linda Binns is an Energy Coach and Mentor, helping professional women and women business owners achieve work-life balance and freedom by identifying and releasing whatever is holding them back.

For a FREE report on 3 Simple Things That Will Take You From Stuck to Unstoppable, and subscription to FREE ezine and energy tips, go to http://www.EnergeticEdgeExpert.com.

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