Simplify Your Holiday Season: Essential Tips for Busy Homesteading Moms

Are you thinking it’s impossible to reduce holiday stress?

The hustle and excitement of the holidays are what make it fun and exciting. The change of atmosphere and new things that you are anticipated bring joy to the soul. Buuuut then reality hits around the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and we realize what really needs to happen in the next 30 ish days…

Getting ready for the holidays can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. If we approach this holiday season with intention we can still have an amazing time in what normally is the most stressful time of the year.

Even though yes we may have a lot to do and accomplish with a business, homestead, kiddos, family to-dos, keeping animals alive, and all the things we can set ourselves up in a way that will bring us peace instead of chaos.

It’s Not The Number Of Tasks Its That You’re Not Prepared

Busting A Myth About Stress Around The Holidays

Most of the time Thanksgiving and Christmas are on you before you know it and you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to get everything you need along with the rest of the nation.

When you take the time to do all of the planning ahead of time you know how to respond to any struggles that come your way.

When you have a solid holiday plan in place EVEN THOUGH things may change you are able to make those changes quickly and your brain is not trying to hold on to those things.

Get The Tasks Out Of Your Mind To Reduce Holiday Stress

I heard another online business owner say “Your mind is meant for coming up with ideas. Not holding them.” So when you are forcing your mind to hold on to a massive list of things that you need to do. You are adding unneeded stress by using up brainpower. — I find this to be sssssooo true in my own life.

Your thoughts cause your actions which cause your feelings that bring your results. I know that was a bit confusing… Let me say that again. 

Your thoughts ~ cause your actions ~ which cause your feelings ~ that bring your results.

So what that is saying is if your brain is full of chaos you are going to act stressed out and maybe even snappy at others. Then that causes you to feel guilty, rushed, and grumpy. Which then causes you to mess up the dessert and forget the gift you had ready for your Aunt Sally who is always offended if you don’t have a great gift in return.

Ok, maybe that was a little over the top. But those things can happen.

If you want to beat holiday stress. You have set yourself up for good thoughts and feelings about the upcoming season. 

Peace of mind is one of the most important steps to having a fun and stress-free holiday…. or life for that matter. Your mind gets so full of all the to-dos that you feel like it is about to explode!

Tools To Get The To-Do’s Out Of Your Head And Reduce Stress

I have a few planners I love to use and I also like to switch things up sometimes. But I also think we have to change how we do things with the current season of life.

Erin Condren Life Planner

Here is one of my favorite tools to do that. I have tried a lot of planners. From extremely detailed planners to the most simple ones at Walmart. The Erin Condren life planner with the hours marked has been the one where my mind feels the calmest and at home. It is detailed but simple.

Asana

Now I know for many a paper planner is preferred. ~ Including myself. But most of us aren’t taking our pretty paper planners out to do chores in the barn where they could get some ungodly brown substance on them. On top of that they are not really as efficient as we might like to think.

Asana is perfect for having access to your chore list or anything you need for your business right on your phone. They let you create as many projects as you need for free and are great if you like simple to-do lists with the ability for due dates as well as a place to store notes.

When you have a digital tool like Asana any time you think of something that needs to be done you can pull out your phone, create a task on your to-do list, and it’s there for you when you are ready, which keeps you from using your brain power to try to remember something.

…. and then remembering you forgot it two days later.

Action Steps To Get Things Out Of Your Head:

Any time you start to feel stressed here are the steps I want you to take.

I want you to stop and take a breath. Then figure out what it is that is getting you worked up. Most often it’s because you are starting to feel like you don’t know what is going on and are slightly out of control.

  • So you need to take time to write down what is flowing through your head. Do what is called a brain dump. Write out everything on your mind, big or small. — Most times the things taking up space don’t really need anything done with them. But they are rattling around in your mind taking up thought space.
  • Once you have everything on a piece of paper in front of you. Cross off the things that are not tasks. The things that are worries or things just hanging out in your mind.
  • Then once you see what is left. But them in order of due date and importance. I will explain more on how to figure out what is important later.
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Keep a pad of paper close by so you have a place to write down even the smallest thing that it pops into your mind. That way you are not forced to try to remember it until the end of the day which is not easy to do. It will also slow down your

It’s also a good idea to keep a “brain dumping pad” in a central location of your home. So you can quickly walk over to it and write those thoughts that just pop into your head at random times.

It will take some training to teach yourself to write things down right away but once you get in the habit you will love the freedom a clear mind brings you. It also makes planning much easier.

Free Farm Goal Planner!!!

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Plan Ahead: Your Best Friend

Do you ever find yourself scrambling at the last minute to get everything done? It happens to the best of us. But planning ahead can be a game-changer.

I know I know, as a mom, small farmer, and business owner it can feel pointless sometimes because plans get changed ALL THE TIME. But it’s because of those plans that you can adjust on a dime and make the changes needed.

Here are some things to think about and plan ahead for.

  1. Create a Holiday Calendar: Mark important dates like family gatherings, school events, and farm tasks that need extra attention or that will dictate the scheduling of other events.
  2. Meal Prep: Consider preparing or at least planning meals in advance and freezing them. This way you know what needs to be pulled out of the freezer and you can start thawing meat in time instead of looking at the clock and realizing your late.
  3. Gift Planning/Saving: Make a list of everyone you need gifts for and start shopping early. Better yet, consider homemade gifts from your farm—jams, pickles, or even handmade crafts. But if that wont work for the person you are gifting. Start saving for the holiday gift season ahead of time so the added stress of money being tight is not a concern.

To reduce holiday stress need to start planning early. For both Thanksgiving & Christmas, you should start by October setting dates and tasks to be completed by certain times. – When you are budgeting for the holidays you need to start by July at least.

Once life starts speeding up you will be up you will realize it’s the new year and you still have your fall decorations up. Ok, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration. But you get the point. There is no such thing as too early

Simplify Your To-Do List

Sometimes less is more. Evaluate what truly needs to get done and what can be simplified or skipped altogether.

  • Prioritize Tasks: Focus on high-impact activities that bring the most value to your holiday experience and farm operations.
  • Minimal Decor: Opt for simple decorations that don’t require extensive setup or maintenance. AND make sure you decorate the areas you spend the most time in if time is short. Don’t waste time on spaces that you will hardly see during the holidays.
  • Streamline Farm Duties: Use time-saving tools and techniques like automatic feeders or drip irrigation systems. Put feed as close to the doors or animals as possible. And create a feeding routine that has a good flow to it and doesn’t cause you to trace back your steps three times to get the job done.

You should make time every day to write a priorities list. If you want to take it a step further. Time block those tasks so you have a ballpark of how long these tasks will take you. – Most times we have more tasks on the list than is actually possible to get done. Even if you don’t stick to the exact time you gave for that task you can still know if you are asking too much of yourself.

To make sure you are doing the right things to move forward you have to set your tasks in order of priority.

Deciding What Is Important Or Not Important To Reduce Stress Around The Holidays

Sometimes we make things more important than they actually are. When you are feeling a little on edge about getting aaaalllllll the things done ask yourself a few of these questions.

  • Does my family need this to eat a good meal or have a fun time?
  • How important is this thing?
  • Will it be noticeable if this thing doesn’t get done?

My favorite thing to say to others and myself. Is this…

People don’t know what you plan to do unless you tell them.

So get as far as you can on your priorities list and be happy with how far you got.

Once you have all of your to-dos on a sheet of paper, go back through and categorize your tasks by importance. Here are some example tasks that don’t have a due date on them BUT they do need to be done.

To-Do List For Thanksgiving Dinner

  • A = Must Do (Buy the ham or turkey)
  • B = Should Do (Pick up the living room)
  • C = Would Like To (the cute DIY decoration you found on Pinterest)

See the difference between the tasks? A’s are very important and you can’t have dinner without it. The second is important but you can still have the get-together. And the last though it seems important should not take top priority because you can still have a nice family freshen without that time-consuming DIY.

If you are anything like me you probably have more on that list than humanly possible to complete.

If all you get done that day is the A tasks THAT’S OK! Whether its the holiday get together or something to do with your farm business, move the others to the next day. You got the highest priority accomplished and that is what is important.

Use A Planner That Works For You

Every woman needs a planner that works for them. If you don’t like to use it you won’t pull it out of the drawer. I am a paper person. I have tried going paperless but it just does not work for me to have a clear mind. So I plan out the tasks and dates on a paper planner but then add them to the digital calendar because the paper planner is too bulky to take places.

Favorite Planners

  • Dailee – I have bought the daily planner, the blogger planner, and the teacher planner and love them all. Check Them Out
  • Day Designer: This one has daily pages with to-do lists and hours marked perfectly for time blocking. Get it here.
  • Bloom Daily – This is also a great planner if you have a lot of tasks to keep track of. Get It Here

If the digital calendar only works for you that will definitely simplify things. Just experiment and keep testing tools out.

pppsssttt… If you have a husband who uses his phone calendar, create a shared calendar that you only but the things that involve both of you. Like going to someone’s house.

Having These Will Help You Stress Less Over The Holidays

Animal Care Checklist

Having a clear guideline ready for the person coming to take care of your animals if you are leaving town will help you have a calm mind. Do it for anything from a goldfish to your livestock. — This can also be helpful to have for yourself if you have a lot going on and don’t have a routine set for your animals. It’s easy to forget something new if your week is full.

Don’t overdo it but make an easy-to-follow list of the animals and their needs as well as their quirks that would be helpful to know. Thinks like: they will bolt for the gate if they see the opportunity. Or lift the door a little bit so it latches. — Little things like that could save them time and even the hassle of animals getting out on them.

Then trust that person and don’t check in on them too often. Leave a line of communication open so they feel they can call or text you any time they need to. Breathe and let it be.

My favorite essential oil.

If you need a little bit of extra help calming your nerves this oil has helped me in more ways than you could imagine. Massive stress levels brought down to extremely small issues thanks to this essential oil.

It helped me with things like hating to leave home and go on trips, to stress caused by other humans… nuff said about that one.

Avoid Having Farm Animal Babies Born

If you are going to be home the whole time you can totally ignore this point. BUT, If you are like most people you have places to be.

So you don’t want your mind back at your home with your momma’s that are about ready to pop. That doesn’t make for a good fun time. So if you can control it. Work it so your litters are due a few days before or a few days after your busiest days of the season.

How To Beat Holiday Stress If You Have A Farm Business

Here are some tips to help set your farm business or side hustle up to run without you. Everyone needs to take time off even if it is just a few days.

Set Expectations

You need to set expectations for both you, your employees, and your customers.

Think about things like:

  • When will you be online?
  • When can they expect responses to emails? — Setting up auto responders for this is a good idea because being supper responsive has gotten me so much business over my competitors.
  • When will new livestock updates come out? — My french lop diehards are WAITING for this especially if they know a litter has been born.

Inform everyone who needs to know and stick to those times. Don’t feel bad if you let a customer question sit in your inbox for a few days while you are spending time with your family. If it is over the holidays and you had an auto responder go out to them they know what to expect.

Pre-Schedule To Reduce Stress – They may not even know you are gone.

If you have been in business for more than a few months you know there are tools out there to help you preschedule your content and communications. I don’t have to tell you that. But are you using them?

Your followers and customers may not even know you are gone if you do it right.

Take the time to plan ahead and batch content to have it done over the holiday season. And REPURPOSE everything posible. I think we spend too much time creating new content. Myself included.

Social Media Schedulers

  • Pinterest – Use their in house scheduler.
  • Facebook And IG – You can use Facebook in-house scheduler but I don’t love it. I am a big believer in using the tools that will encourage you to create. And if it is clunky or not a smooth process I drag my feet with it. Plann has been my favorite and has a WONDERFUL repurposing system where you are creating one piece of content for all platforms and you can make easy tweaks for each platform with the click of a button. — Check out PlannThat for free.

Email Services

Have a canned response that is set to go out every time someone emails you with a short explanation and the time/date you will be back into work. You can also answer the most commonly asked questions in that email so it might help them even if you are not online.

For your email list, you can pre-write your weekly emails and schedule them to go out. No one will know the difference. There are a few tools I recomend.

If you need a free tool to get started I would recomend ConvertKit’s new Newsletter plan. Which is perfect and lets you have up to 10k subscribers for free. BUT once you surpass that they can get pricy quick.

I also love flodesk. It is extremely if you have a larger list. You can try flodesk free for 30 days here.

Free Farm Goal Planner!!!

➡️Get my proven system for choosing your farm goals so you don’t get burnt out.

Turn those notifications off!

This one is possibly the most important. Turn notifications off and even delete the social apps off your phone if you have to. Take pictures and upload them later if you feel like you need to share your holiday activities with your followers. But don’t be that person who is known for always being on your phone. If people have no idea what you are doing then that is a win in my book.

Embrace Imperfection

Perfection is overrated—and frankly, impossible! Embrace the imperfections that come with both farming and holiday celebrations.

  • Let Go of Expectations: Accept that things may not go exactly as planned—and that’s okay!
  • Celebrate Small Wins: Did you manage to bake cookies with the kids? Great! Did you harvest all those carrots before the first frost? Awesome!
  • Be Present: Focus on creating memories rather than achieving perfection.

Connect with Nature

One of the beautiful things about living on a backyard farm is your close connection with nature. Use this to your advantage during the holiday season.

  1. Outdoor Activities: Engage in outdoor activities like sledding, hiking, or even just sitting by a bonfire.
  2. Nature Crafts: Create holiday decorations using natural materials from your farm—think pinecones, twigs, and dried flowers.
  3. Animal Therapy: Spend quality time with your animals; their calming presence can be incredibly soothing.

Reflect on Gratitude

The holidays are a perfect time for reflection and gratitude.

  • Gratitude Journal: Keep a journal where you jot down things you’re grateful for each day.
  • Share Thanks: Express gratitude openly with family members and friends—it fosters connection and positivity.
  • Celebrate Achievements: Take time to celebrate what you’ve accomplished on your farm over the past year.

Remember It Will Be Ok

It is easy to get stressed and worked up about things not going the way you planned but if you take a step back and ask your self “what is the worst that could happen?” It is really not that bad.

Will your family disown you because you forgot a part of the meal? No of course not.

Will your followers completely leave you for taking time off? Not likely. They are spending time with their loved ones too.

Remember that you are the only one who knows what you wanted to get done. So don’t beat yourself up for not getting that last-minute decoration done or dessert made.

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