This is supposed to be "the most wonderful time of the year," but it doesn't always feel that way, does it? With all of the preparation and stress related to the holiday season, it can often seem questionable as to whether or not it's even worth it to drag out all of the decorations and wrap all of the gifts. As the holiday draws near, the stress level of many is likely to increase -- making the holiday season a lot less positive and a lot more headache-inducing.
If you're celebrating Christmas this year, you're probably well aware that the big day is only about 15 days away. At this point, a lot of people might be panicking or stressing out, realizing all of the gifts they still have to buy, seeing all the decorations that still need to be hung , and trying to prepare for all of the upcoming holiday events. But don't worry! Whether it seems like it or not, this really is the best time of year to be positive and present and, to help you do that, I have some great advice for you on how you can stay calm during the last two weeks of the Christmas countdown...
5 Ways to Stay Calm Before Christmas
1. Take it one day at a time. When looking forward at the upcoming weeks and all that needs to be done before the "big day," it can be easy to lose sight of what's right in front of you -- today. While I'm not against planning by any means, there is something to be said for focusing on the day in front of you. As each day approaches, focus on what you need to get done on that day and do what you can to avoid thinking too far ahead.
2. Create a day-by-day plan. Focusing on one day at a time becomes a lot easier if you have a plan in place and know what you need to focus on that day (as well as what you will handle on other days). Take a few minutes today to create a plan for the next two weeks, giving yourself tasks to complete on specific days. Having this in place will help you feel prepared and will keep you calm.
3. Ask others for help. Hard as this can be to realize sometimes, you don't always have to do everything yourself. There comes a point in the stress of the holiday season where you need to take a step back and realize that you can, in fact, ask for help. Take a look at your To Do list and the day-by-day plan you've created and see if there are any tasks you can delegate. Once you reach out for some help, you'll find that your holiday workload will seem a lot more manageable.
4. Make time for R&R. The best thing you can do for yourself when you're feeling stressed is take a break. Carve some extra time into your schedule for some serious rest and relaxation over the next couple weeks. While a trip to a spa might be out of the question, don't discount the emotional and physical benefits of just taking a short break from whatever you're doing to sit down and rest. And make sure to let others in your life know that your time-out means just that -- a time out for you to rest and relax.
5. Set others expectations. Whether you're battling stress or just living through a regular December, one of the most important things you can do to reduce stress in your life is to manage others expectations. If you are the person who always says "yes," remind yourself that you don't always have to help out. You can -- and should -- say "no" when you need to. Let those around you know what you have time for -- and what you don't -- and stick to your word. Setting expectations is key for cutting stress.
As the holiday creeps closer, do what you can to stay positive and present. It can be very easy to get caught up in the stress -- especially if you find yourself in stress-causing situations (like, say, the local mall or an awkward holiday party). If you find yourself in a stressful situation or feel negativity taking over your thoughts, try to remember the 5 suggestions listed above. Hopefully these will help you to enjoy the days leading up to Christmas!
How do you stay calm when faced with Christmas stress
(or just stress in general)?
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