“I just can’t wait till it’s over!”

Is that you every year from family and friends stressed about gift buying, meal planning and travel during the holiday season?

How did something so magical turn into requiring us to all meet with a therapist before it’s over? To be honest, this was me until I started asking myself several years ago, “why do I do what I do each year during the holidays? Does it even matter? And is it worth what I do to leftover me – stressed out and exhausted and not too nice to be around?”

For so many years, my ego got the best of me. I sucked out all the fun, trying to please people (strangers!), doing way more than I should at the expense of those I really loved and cared about giving beautiful holiday memories.

 

Step 1: Design a new mindset – Get rid of the Guilt

This is the most important element and key to doing this season smarter and different.

Decide: what you will do differently this holiday season and stop feeling guilty about not doing the same thing you’ve been doing for years. Guilt paralyzes your thinking… the worst enemy of a smarter and different mindset to doing the holidays!

Take control: of your thinking and decide what is important and ask yourself why you are doing something. Is it to impress others or really make a difference?
 
 

See more holiday de-stressing ideas here from 'She Knows'

See more holiday de-stressing ideas here from ‘She Knows’

 

Step 2: Downsize what you do

Decorating: Do you really want to keep going to the storage room, dragging out all those boxes, and then you get to do it all over again after the season is over! Consider doing less decorating and each year when it’s over, ask yourself, “Do I still need or want this?” Get rid of outdated or unimportant decor.

Activities and Entertaining: It all sounds so doable and no big deal until the actual time is upon us and then you’re kicking yourself asking, “Why did I say yes to this?!” Take out your calendar and write “No!” on several dates to balance your commitments.

Cooking: I remember so well not calculating all the extra meals of having out of town family with all the other demands. So downsizing what I did became my new best friend and no one even cared! I got smart, ditched needing five casseroles and four desserts and now cook healthier, quicker meals. Simplifying is bliss.

 

Christmas Feast

Get smart, no need to overcook! The holidays are about being together. Although this is wonderful, simplifying is bliss. courtesy of The Times, UK

 

Step 3: De-stress by making time for yourself

If you skip this important step, you’ll end up looking like week-old, smelly and dried out stuffing sitting in your fridge. Instead, try imagining this without laughing or rolling your sweet little eyes at me.
 
 

De-stress! Put your feet up, have a cup of coffee or even take a nap! Photo courtesy of HeresKate.com

De-stress! Put your feet up, have a cup of coffee or even take a nap! Photo courtesy of HeresKate.com

 
 
Take time to actually relax with family and friends…kick up your feet, wear slippers and sip coffee…

Take a nap if you can…

Take time to actually enjoy your own tree and decorations and remember the good times with family and friends. This holiday give from a place of love and excitement, rather than social obligation…

If you can do these three steps, “peace on earth” can actually be seen, felt, and given away during this beautiful season.