Simplify Your Holidays 

Simple is better.  Period.  It is better when you simplify your holidays—including shopping chores, food preparations, home decorating and the entertaining activities.  No one is going to judge how many cookies you made, how much garland you hung, or how big the pile of presents is under the tree.  Keep it simple and not try to do it all.

There are many reasons to simplify: a soft economy, looming deadlines at work, the kids have grown, or the home has been downsized. When you simplify your "to do" list and practice other stress reducing strategies, you give yourself more breathing room. The frenzied pace dissipates, and you can enjoy a sense of calm, enjoying the reason for the season.

When you simplify your holidays, you can achieve a focus on what really matters most to your family. To begin the process, take time to review what you did during last year's holiday season. What were the most stressful elements that you experienced? What can you change this year?

Take an inventory of your holiday decorations and notice which ones you no longer use.  Consider what decorations you can eliminate.  Donate those decorations that are still in good condition but you don't need.  Not only will  you take less time putting up the decorations, you will be relieved with the time you save cleaning up after the holidays.

Let's look at the foods you will be serving.  What baking can you lessen? Do you really need that many different kinds of cookies?  Can you share some of the baking responsibilities with others?  The activities that you have whittled down become more meaningful and by having more time, you can actually enjoy the time.

With a frenzy of activities, you find yourself racing to get everything done and all of the activities planned and carried out. There is no time to relax and actually enjoy being a part of the celebration.

Carefully selecting family holiday traditions lowers your stress levels and encourages a more calm and peaceful holiday experience. Take a deep breath and enjoy the spirit of the season. With less seasonal frenzy, these chosen activities can have greater, more meaningful significance. 

Stress Management During the Holiday Season

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