Updated: Nov 29, 2021
The holiday season can be an exhausting and stressful time of year as you run here, there and everywhere to check off all of your to-dos, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Neat Little Nest is here to help with some tips to get you through what should be a joyful season. Don't let mental clutter build and weigh down your merry spirit.
schedule "me" time
Don’t forget about yourself amidst handling all the overwhelming list of holiday details. Setting aside time aside to relax, reset and refuel throughout the season is essential for you to be able to show up as your best self at home, work and festivities.
And here is the thing about "me" time. If it’s not scheduled, it is not likely to happen. Life has a way of unfurling with very little downtime unless you make it happen. Try to find a time of the day or a day of the week where you can dedicate an hour or more to read, nap, take a bath, go for a walk or do absolutely nothing at all. For me, I use the early morning hour when no one else is yet awake as my "me" time; the house is quiet and my mind can be as well.
Put regular "me" time appointments on your calendar as that will help keep committed time set aside. Then don't change it unless you really need to. Scheduling "me" time regularly will make it more likely to become a habit.
adopt a gift giving strategy
A lot of mental overload during the holidays comes from having to buy gifts for your friends, family and acquaintances. Not only is it difficult to come up with ideas, but shopping can be time-consuming and a financial burden. Consider having a gift giving strategy. For your kid's teachers, work colleagues and hostess gifts, buy a few chosen items in bulk or purchase similar items in different colors, scents or flavors. It cuts down on the time and effort trying to find the ideal gift for each individual. For close friends and family, set a spot of time to ideate and make a list of some general gift inspiration. Frequent your favorite brick and mortar businesses or shop online.
ask for help
If you’re hosting a meal for family and friends, you don't have to do everything yourself. Ask your family to pitch in by helping you shop for groceries and clean the house. If you have child who drives, ask them to pick up your grocery order!
You can also ask your guests to pitch in and help with the meal by bringing a side dish or beverages so you don’t have as much to prepare on your own. If you choose to do this, be sure to assign each person with a complimentary dish/dessert so that you don't guess at what they might bring or end up with similar or duplicate dishes.
don't over commit
The most wonderful time of the year can quickly spiral into a terrible time of the year if you overcommit yourself. When the holidays become a pain point, that is never a good outcome. It's difficult, if not impossible, to live in the moment and be all fa-la-la-la-la if you're going every minute of everyday.
Before accepting an invitation, consult your calendar and prioritize your time so you don’t find yourself overbooked. If you don't typically plan out your time in advance, it might be a good time to consider trying a planner on for size to keep track of your commitments.
Practice saying "no" to things you feel you're doing out of guilt or thinking you should. It's better to say "no" to something you're only half-enthused about than to say "yes" and have regrets. You can dig deeper in our blog post called why saying "yes" when you really want (or need) to say "no" contributes to mind clutter.
Giving yourself open space on your calendar is a MUST this time of year.
watch for triggers
The holidays can trigger old emotions to bubble to the surface. The way certain relatives interact with you might cause you to feel angry or sad. If you know that family gatherings can be triggering for you, consider what those triggers are and think about boundaries you might need in place to make the festivities work for you.
By being aware of what might trigger you, you can have an awareness ahead of time to ready your response. Triggers are never easy to contend with, but planning for them is a great way for you to practice a different way forward.
With some dedicated planning, simplifying and streamlining you can keep overwhelm from taking your mindset hostage this holiday season. Revel in the anticipation, connection and the excitement the holidays can bring, don't let mental clutter distract and consume you.
Photo credit: Jes Lahay Photography
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