Being busy can be stressful enough without all of the extra tasks the holiday can bring. Gifts to shop for, dinner to host, dinners and get together to attend and special things that you want to enjoy.

Not that these aren’t enjoyable, but they take up so much time that you can be struggling to get everything done. You’re so tired and stressed that you’re wondering if it was worth all the extra work.

Whish is SO not the point of the holidays.

Realistically how do you get through the holidays with cheer and merriness?

Here are 3 ways to get you there.

1 Plan everything ahead of time

And wow do I mean everything. This is the superpower that will help de-stress your holidays.

Grab your calendar (digital or otherwise) and start filling it out.

The earlier, the better. Start in October if you can, early November at the latest (keep reading you’ll see why in a minute).

Start with adding the most obvious things

  • holiday get-togethers
  • parties/dinners you're attending
  • dinners or parties you are hosting
  • family traditions (holiday movie night, skating, skiing)

The family hasn’t decided on a date for dinner yet? No problem. Start the ball rolling, and YOU suggest the date.

Great start! Next, let’s take some stress out.

With anything you added to your calendar so far, decide what needs to be done for it and start prepping for it at least two weeks in advance. Need some hostess gifts for parties? Doing your own dinner party? Plan a few hours to go out and get those hostess gifts, plan your dinner menu, prep some food ahead of time and freeze it (such a time saver).

Imagine being that prepared and ready. Do you feel less stressed already?

Now it’s time to add everything else, here’s where it gets fun.

  • Include dates and times you’re going to go shopping for gifts. It can be an hour on a Friday afternoon plus a whole day on Saturday whatever time you think you’ll need – add it.
  • Don't forget time to wrap gifts! Ugh, I used to put this one off and on Christmas Eve instead of enjoying myself I’d have to spend a few hours wrapping.
  • Add in stating, skiing, tobogganing, movie nights, tea with friends, anything you want to plan ahead.

Planning everything (and preparing things in advance) doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous it can actually help you be more spontaneous because realistically you’ve used your time better and will have more of it.

2 Be realistic. Don’t plan too much

Starting in November, there are only eight weekends before Christmas Eve so once you start filling in your calendar you can see how quickly all those weekends are taken.

Make sure you plan for downtime. Take one or two weekends and plan – nothing. That doesn’t mean nothing will happen, but it gives you the opportunity to be spontaneous (to grab your skates and go have fun) or just be at home getting the little things done and enjoying some relaxation time.

I know during the holidays there can be a huge amount of demand on your time, but I’m going to tell you a little secret.

You CAN say no.

There’s nothing wrong with politely declining things that just won’t fit (or things you don’t really want to do). I would love to see all my friends and family right before Christmas but realistically – it’s not possible. I continue to plan right into February to enjoy time with them.

Take time away from your business/work and be present in the moment

Have you found that even when you’re not working – you still are? You’re constantly checking email, social media, thinking about work.

If you’re running your own business, or are stuck in work mode it can be difficult to let go.

I’m going to tell you one last secret – You ARE allowed to take time off.

You’ve taken care of things in your business/work and have planned for the downtime, holiday shopping, tea date with a friend in advance, so be in the moment and enjoy it.

Start to plan your holiday season like you’re planning anything important in your business or work. That way you don’t feel rushed or stressed, and you can enjoy your holiday season.

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