Are you feeling like the year is drawing to a close faster than you expected? Are you running out of time hoping you get everything done on your holiday “to do” list? Are you stressed and worn out? Well, perhaps it is time to stop, take a deep breath and rethink how you are spending your valuable time.
- Take a hard look at your “to do” list. Is it full of “must do” or “should do” vs “want to do”? What’s on the list that you can stop doing right now? What’s on the list that you can get someone else to do? Ensure your time is spent doing the things you most value and enjoy.
- Simplify wherever you can. Perhaps you can stop exchanging gifts with some of your friends or family. You can cut back on the number of greeting cards you mail out or stop altogether. You might consider sending electronic greeting cards instead.
- Start a tradition. I love decorating my home for the holidays but my husband doesn’t get excited by the work involved in getting our home decorated. So, several years ago I started a tradition with my dad. He comes over to help me decorate my tree(s) and helps me with the outdoor lights and garland and whatever I need done to complete the decorating. We have a great father/daughter visit laughing and talking and then end with a nice cup of coffee and some cookies. I wouldn’t trade this time with him for anything. He’s 84 years old and still loves to come over and help.
- Spend time with loved ones. At some point over the holiday season I’ll bring out the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and we’ll watch it as a family. We make popcorn, curl up on the couches and then settle in to watch the movie together. The holidays are about celebration. Make sure you take the time to celebrate, laugh and have fun with the people you most care about.
- Start a gratitude journal. It’s a great time of year to reflect on all your successes and accomplishments throughout the year as well as a great time to reflect on all the people in your life that you value and appreciate. In addition to writing about it, be bold and let them know, you will feel great and so will they.
- Engage in physical activity. If you can make the activity a group activity that’s even better. A friend of mine rents an ice rink every year and invites all his friends and family for a skate and some hot chocolate. It’s a terrific way to catch up with people you haven’t seen in awhile as well as being a fun and active way to enjoy the holidays. Just think-you could organize a toboggan party or a bowling party to work off some of that holiday food.
- Relax. When you feel overwhelmed or stressed make sure you take the time to relax and re-energize. Read a book, take a warm bath, or sleep in.
So before the year is over, stop and take some time to truly enjoy the holiday season and do whatever is most important to you. I wish you and your families the very best this holiday season. Happy Holidays!