Hot Tips for Thriving During the Holiday Season (4 parts)

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How are you doing with regards to planning your holiday season?

Accept your limitations/tell the truth sooner. This is tough to do, since we often want to do all kinds of things on a holiday and don't realize how much time and energy it will take from us in the end. While you are in between work the truth you may have less energy, time, and money for what you used to do at the holidays. Be okay with that. Be in communication with people and allow yourself permission to be grateful for what you do have. Think about what you really have to do, and really want to do. Then think about what you realistically have adequate time and energy for.

Get the whole family involved. Have your kids or grandchildren address the Christmas, Chanukah or New Year cards. Have everyone coming to dinner bring a dish. Let the kids make the ornaments and bake the cookies. The holiday preparations can be a burden if you are doing everything by yourself, but lots of fun when pitches in. Also engage everyone’s strengths. If someone loves to do Facebook or computerized digital photos or a video collage have them do it. Share the responsibility and the joy of the season.

Examine your holiday traditions. Ask everyone in your family what are the three most important things that really make the holiday special. Then focus on those things. You may discover that nobody really wants all those holiday cookies, but really love the tree decorating party. Do what makes the holiday special and forget the rest of the stuff. This will also facilitate the goal of spending less money and keeping your eye on what is most enjoyable. After the season is long over it’s the memories you hold in your heart that count not what was bought.

Do not over-commit. Learn how to say no, with a smile and firm conviction. You only have so many days and hours to squeeze in family, friends, career searching, gift buying, food preparation, gift-wrapping, traveling, packing, etc. Make sure you have plenty of time to get your things done and whatever you commit to is within your physical and emotional abilities. If you find at the time a party or other event comes up that you feel very tired or even ill, cancel or ask for help. Don't play superman/woman. Holidays are to be enjoyed. Less is often more. Create reserve and cushions for down time. Leave plenty of space to rest, take naps, sleep in and say no. It’s better to take on less and keep your agreements than try to do it all when you’re not feeling up to it. You want to remember this holiday season with enjoyment not upset and anger.

Third in the series on Tuesday, December 22nd.