By Linda L. Hardenstein
Wow! Where did this year go? With Thanksgiving just around the corner I feel the pressure of the rush to start my holiday shopping, get my cards and greetings done, shop for turkey day next week – yikes! I’m behind and I haven’t even started yet!
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with holiday activities and before you know it all the joy of the season has been drained out of you and buried in busyness. So here are some simple remedies for getting things done AND making your holidays a joyful experience:
1. Many of us are on autopilot when it comes to holiday traditions. We just do them whether we really enjoy them or not. We forget that the kind of experience we have is up to us. If you had a clean slate upon which to create the holiday experience of your dreams what would it look like? Would more time to relax fit into the picture? More or less time with family? Would you like some time to volunteer or give back? This may be the season to take a break and reclaim what really matters by creating a new tradition of enjoyment and appreciation. Before you get whipped around by all the holiday frenzy, take a deep breath and ponder – what would a joyful holiday season look like for me?
2. Now make a list of all the things you think you should do — shopping, decorating, getting in touch, hosting get-togethers, cooking meals, etc. Then ask yourself do all of these activities REALLY have to be done? Do YOU “have to” be the one that does it all? Maybe it’s time to do things more simply — who can pitch in? Can you go out instead of cooking at home? Can you draw names for gift giving or cut back all together (if everyone agrees)? Do all the decorations need to be pulled out and put up or will just a few of your favorites do the trick? Is there a way less can be more this holiday season?
3. It’s easy to get emotionally drained from family events and physically tired from running around. How can you plan some relaxation into your schedule after a day of Christmas shopping? A walk in the fall air does wonders for rejuvenating your spirit and upping your energy. A movie can be a great way to reward yourself. A hot bath is a great way to relax. For every four hours you spend shopping, fixing, decorating, etc. if you took one hour to relax, how would you feel and experience the holidays?
It may take some effort to change your routine this holiday season but getting out of overwhelm may be the result. Many of us just do too much. What do you need to let go of? Say “no” to? And create to stay healthy, positive, energized and to have a season filled with joy and peace?
Many blessings! What’s your secret for bringing joy to a busy holiday season?