Think it is imposible to reduce stress around the holidays?
The hustle and bustle of the holidays are what make it fun and exciting. The change of atmosphere and new things that are anticipated bring joy to the soul.
Buuuttttt that can also be the cause of some major stress in your final few months of the year.
Getting ready for the holidays can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be.
After running a blog, rabbitry, online business, scheduling all of the get-togethers for both sides of the family, not to mention personal stuff I am going to share the key to not losing your mind over the holidays.
Myth Busting About Stress Around The Holidays
It is not because there’s a lot to do that stresses you out. It’s that you are not prepared for it.
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.
Alright! Are you ready to kick your holiday stress to the curb?
Get It Out Of Your Mind To Reduce Stress Around The Holidays
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 using up brainpower.
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.
If you want to beat holiday stress. You have set yourself up for good thoughts and feelings about the upcoming season.
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. I am a firm believer in keeping your tools and systems simple but effective.
You can get $10 off by using this link and creating a new account for your first purchase of an Erin Condren Planner. Your $10 off coupon will be EMAILED to you so make sure to go back and get the code.
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!
Any time you start to feel stressed 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 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.
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.
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.
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. 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
Beat Holiday Stress With Your To-do List
You should make time every day to write a to-do list. If you want to take it a step further. Time block those tasks. Most times we have more tasks on the list than is actually possible to get done.
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 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 to say to others and myself. Is this.
People don’t know what you planned to do unless you tell them.
So get as far as you can on your 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.
- 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! Just move the others to the next day. You got the highest priority accomplished and that is what is important.
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. Hourly markings on my daily or weekly spreads are a must.
If the digital calendar works for you great, just experiment and keep testing tools out. I do put all of my appointments and important to-do’s in my phone calendar (google calendar) so I have access to it if I am in public and do not have my planner with me.
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.
Animal Care Checklist
Having a clear guideline ready for the person coming to take care of your animals will help you have a calm mind. Do it for anything from a goldfish to your livestock.
Don’t overdo it but make an easy to follow list of the animals and their needs. 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. Breath 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 then you could imagine. Massive stress levels brought down to extremely small issues. From hating to leave home and go on trips to stress caused by other humans… nuff said about that one.
Avoid Having Babies Born
If you are going to be home the whole time you can totaly ignor 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 Business
Here are some tips to help set your business up to run without you. Everyone needs to take time off even if it is just a few days.
Whether you are a solopreneur or have a team 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?
- When will new blog posts come out?
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 family.
Make Your Time Off Obvious
Talk about it taking time off ahead of time. A month out, two weeks out and every day for the last three days before you actually do sign off for the holiday.
Pre Schedule To Reduce Stress
There are so many things you can pre-schedule to go out when you are not even online. Blog posts, social media posts, emails can all go out. Below is a list of popular services that are not too expensive and will help you save so much time…
I do want to give one cavoite before you jump into those. Social accounts want you to be social on the platforms. Scheduling and forgetting will result in very little growth for your account.
Social Media Schedulers
- Tailwind – For Pinterest (They do have their own scheduler now but they only let you schedule up to two weeks out.)
- Planoly – For Instagram
- Facebook and Twitter both have their own scheduler.
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. I LOVE a tool called flodesk. It is extremely affordable and easy to use. You can try flodesk free for 30 days here… or learn more about flodesk by reading this post first.
This will enable you to have the space to check emails when you want but not feel pressured to check them and respond within 24hrs. Or as soon as the notification comes through on your phone.
And ahem… On that note read the next headline.
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.
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