Yes! You read the title correctly. Having a stress free holiday season is attainable and I’d like to share a few things for you to consider as the most wonderful time of the year is already upon us!
The Choice Is Yours
I have to remind myself of this often. I can decide to remain stress free in any season even when the pressure is on. Sometimes it’s a minute-by-minute reminder that I have to give myself but once you’ve made up your mind, don’t allow anything OR anyone to reverse your decision. Also, now is the time for you to ask and answer a few reflection questions like:
-What do I want to give my attention to this season?
-What is my bandwidth, capacity, tolerance level for ….(fill in the blank)?
-Who needs my time and attention during this season?
-How can I continue to put myself on my own “to-do” list this season?
-What lessons do I need to apply from previous seasons?
Make A Plan
And stick to it. Yes things will come up but if you know you are hosting this year, take inventory of what will be needed now to accommodate your guest. I am historically a last minute shopper and it works for me BUT I always prepare a list and as well as a road map. I know which stores to hit and what time to avoid excessive crowding and lines. Again, this works for me and I plan around a full day of shopping to include groceries, toiletries, etc. Make a plan that works for you.
I’m sure you thought that I was going to say the opposite. I learned the importance of the “yes” while interviewing my most recent podcast guest, Miranda Campbell. Sometimes we need to respond in the affirmative when we are asked “if we need help” as opposed to throwing on our superwoman cape. Say “yes” to a catered meal if you don’t feel like cooking. Say “yes” to a cleaning service or to that friend or relative that knows your plate is full and has generously offered to lend you a hand this season. Knowing when to say “yes” is as important as knowing when to say “no.”
I will personally be mindful this season about biting off more than I can chew. We do this to ourselves and we do it often. Then we are tired, angry, stressed out, and frankly not too fun to be around. If you know that you are already committed in certain areas, let that be enough this season.
As a believer, I have to keep constant reminders around to help me keep first things first during this time of year. Knowing that Jesus came to set me free keeps me grounded. All of the bells and whistles that this time of year brings are great but obtaining all of the “things” means nothing if I don’t have peace, love, and joy in my heart and in my home. I don’t want stress to rob me of the opportunity to create memories with my family and friends that will last a lifetime. What about you?
Let me know in the comments which tip resonates with you the most!