Avoiding Stress At the Holidays

The Halloween jack-o-lanterns have just begun to rot and we are already making lanterns for Sint Maarten, anticipating Sinterklaas’ arrival in The Netherlands and contemplating our Thanksgiving menu.  That just gets my family through to the end of November. December, in and of itself, is one big holiday month with Pakjesavond, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It can be overwhelming and exhausting when this is mixed with year-end deliverables at work, family and friend engagements, holiday celebrations and potential overnight guests.

The holiday season is just one long rolling celebration of festive cultural, national and religious holidays which requires some serious Time Management Solutions. Here are some suggestions on how to handle the extra load.

  • Take one day at a time. Or in this case one holiday at a time by planning and organizing for each individually. There is no sense stressing one’s self out by managing it all at once.
  • Write it down. Use a central calendar to capture everyone’s commitments and invitations. An overview lets everyone know what to anticipate and where they are expected to be.
  • Clear the agendas. Once you’ve noted down all the events and related parties look at what you can cancel or remove from your agenda. Workshops, networks events, conferences, meetings, doctor’s appointments. What can be re-booked during a less stressful time? Must you attend every business or holiday event? Choose consciously those events that bring you the most joy and energy. This is a great exercise in learning to say “no”.
  • Declutter central zones. Start with your entryway, clear away items to make room for greeting guests and hanging their coats. Move to the kitchen and clear the countertops. Cooking large meals become an extra challenge when you are limited by space. Turn the guest room back into an inviting place for guests and not your temporary storage or project room.
  • Create your to-do list. Do you need to coordinate treats, outfits, or gifts for an event? Are you required to RSVP? Purchase tickets? Note down what needs to be done and set aside an evening to make your arrangements.
  • Book in your downtime. Keep at least one weekend day free from engagements. Recovery time is more precious than ever. With the shorter days crawl into bed a little earlier for an extra bit of sleep.
  • Swap time with a friend. You need to run errands without the children in tow (how else can Sinterklaas get his shopping done). Ask a friend to trade afternoons looking after each other’s children. You might have a busy day babysitting, but you’ll be rewarded with a relatively quiet and stress-free afternoon to handle all your shopping needs.

Start now, plan and organize what you can. By managing your time wisely during the holiday season you’ll be able to enjoy the festivities rather than stress and lose sleep.

Do you need a little extra help during the holiday season? Perhaps preparing your home for guests, decorating your home for the festive season, or organizing your kitchen for holiday cooking? Bring order, structure, and efficiency to your home by contacting sorted.by Melissa by email or phone for a Free Consultation. 

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