Happy Thanksgiving day greeting card calligraphy text with pumpkins, squash and leaves over dark wood table background

As we approach the holidays, there’s a lot of things going on that add stress to our already stressful lives. In addition to work, taking care of our kids or, in some cases, our parents, there are now holiday parties, shopping for gifts and pressures of visiting family.

However, its’ also a time to celebrate. Spend time with family and friends. Take a vacation or staycation. I know we all have to work BUT, we also have to take time to enjoy ourselves. Otherwise, what’s all the hard work for?

I hope that the following tips can help alleviate some of the stress that you may experience in the next couple of months and give you some ideas on how to wind down and take some badly needed and well-deserved time.

1. Say no.
a. You do NOT have to attend every party or event that you’re invited to:
i. Pick wisely. You can always explain that there is a conflict in your schedule or, if you’re like me you can just “tell it like it is”. Say thank you for the invitation and graciously decline.

2. Plan ahead.
a. Make a list of all gifts that you need to buy for others:
b. If you’re ordering on-line, take care of it sooner than later to make sure it gets there on time
c. If you’re out there shopping, map out the stores you want to go to, to save time
d. Go on off hours to avoid the holiday rush

3. Ask for help.
a. If you’re planning on having company over the holidays, make it easier:
i. Hire someone, if you’re having a lot of people over for dinner, to help serve and clean
ii. Order groceries on-line and have them delivered
iii. Have friends and family pitch in
iv. Cook in advance and freeze in portions

4. Budget. The holidays can get expensive. However, there are many ways to cut corners:
a. Use coupons
b. Shop on Black Friday when deals are plentiful
c. Use points to pay (check your credit cards to see which ones offer this option)
d. If you’re creative, make your own gifts
e. Agree with some friends and family to NOT exchange gifts.
i. Perhaps you can suggest time together to celebrate the holidays making memories

5. Take Care of Yourself.
a. Get enough sleep
b. Enjoy some downtime
i. Get up early when everyone is still sleeping
c. Meditate
d. Exercise
e. Eat properly

6. Celebrate.
a. Do something special for yourself:
b. Get a massage, facial, mani/pedi
c. Make a date with a friend or your significant other for a nice night out
d. Do something you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the time (or money)
i. If not now, when? Tomorrow is promised to no-one!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Holiday Season.