1) Cut down the list. It never fails. The holidays come rushing through the pages of our calendars like a bull charging at the matador. Even with the good intentions of planning ahead, it seems the months, weeks and days pass too quickly. It’s tempting to try to fit ordinary activities with holiday activities, and try to do it all. Shorten your to-do list and turn do only bite-sized tasks. Don’t try to remodel your home in time for holiday guest or attempt to take on a landscaping redesign in order to accommodate a holiday theme. Don’t volunteer to hand-sew all the Christmas program costumes for your child’s play. If you have friends and relatives coming into town, find accommodations close to your home (thought the holidays are about family, hosting 20 people at your house is probably not a good idea). Try to arrange cabs, Uber or Lyft for any out-of-town arrivals. Driving to the airport 10x in one week will (literally) drive you insane!
2) Commit to very few activities. Do attend your company (and/or your spouse’s) holiday event. Celebrate with close friends and family and attend their fetes. But refrain from RSVPing “yes” to every single invitation you receive. Commit only those holiday activities that are near and dear to your heart, values and what your social barometer can handle.
3) Eat right (yeah right)! Easier said than done, I know. The fall and winter months are already the time where comfort food is in season and is bountiful. But don’t allow yourself to become bountiful by eating like a bear packing fat for the winter slumber. Eating healthy will help you stay energized with your holiday preparations and the general end-of-the-year activities you need to face. Healthy fare will also help prevent any nasty colds and flus coming your way by keeping your body strong and able to fight off germs and viruses that might attack a weakened immune system.
4) All about you! Set aside some serious time for yourself. The holidays and the end-of-the-year are hectic enough. Give yourself permission to buy yourself a little something special (just for being you), treat yourself to a spa massage (or mani or pedi), steal away for a few hours to enjoy a peppermint latte (alone) at a local coffee shop, or jump onto a pile of snow and make snow angels. Take a few moments for yourself to refresh and relax and not get sucked into some of the unnecessary bustle of the season.
5) Enjoy. Just enjoy the holidays. You will never have the perfect tree, decorations, party, presents, food and baked goods. Don’t sweat the little Martha Stewart details and take time to enjoy what the season brings: the gathering of family and friends, beautiful cool (or snowy) weather, festive deécor, yummy food and treats, and the simple reason that it’s Christmas time!