It’s only a matter of time before we hear Andy Williams croon, “It’s the most WONDERFUL tiiiiiiime of the yeeeeear!” Substitute “wonderful” with “stressful” and you get a little closer to what most of will experience at the holidays. But does it have to be that way? Do we have a choice as to whether we are going to enjoy and embrace the holidays or simply “get through” them?
This time of year is not just about gifts and shopping. Add in the parties, festivities, card-writing, planning, scheduling, dinners, services, programs, gatherings, sing-alongs, visitors and travel and you’ve got the perfect recipe for Holiday Stress Pie. And, with all of the blended, extended families and in-laws, it’s easier to decipher the da Vinci code than to work out who is going to be with whom on what day. It takes an engineer and three quantum physicists just to work out the meal times.
So what can we do to minimize our holiday stress? I’m glad you asked! I’m not a funny stress speaker for nothing!
Eliminate what doesn’t really matter
• For example, when it comes to your holiday baking, pace yourself. Do a little at a time and freeze the baked goods. Or just hold out for a few weeks. People are so sick of their own goodies by then that anonymous plates will begin showing up on your doorstep.
• Make lists, but don’t panic if you don’t get to everything on them. Prioritize and then let go of unfinished tasks when the stress starts creeping in.
• Delegate! Oh, I know that no one can wrap gifts (or stick them in gift bags) as well as you can, but bite the bullet and let others help. Better yet, demand that they help. (Yes, you heard me: demand!) If that is too strong of a word, then command.
Keep your sense of humor!
In the end, people won’t remember the little details, but rather how they felt. Be warm and relaxed as opposed to uptight and stressed to make the holidays joyful for yourself and all you touch. It really IS the most WONDERFUL tiiiiiiime of the yeeeeear, so relax and enjoy it!
Kay Frances is a Motivational Humorist who encourages people to “laugh more, stress less and take care of yourself!” She gives humorous keynote presentations and stress management workshops all over the United States. She is the author of “The Funny Thing about Stress; A Seriously Humorous Guide to a Happier Life.” To order the book or find out more about Kay, visit her website at: www.KayFrances.com.