The end of the year can be so stressful and busy. It is hard to remember to slow down and enjoy the holiday season. As moms we often get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. Our children are over tired and over excited, the weather might be cold and horrible, and our husbands are hanging out for their vacation time too.
In the midst of this chaos us mamas are often trying to plan meals, travel, celebrations, gifts, house decorating, end of year activities and performances and trying to catch up with family and friends.
On top of this is the keeping the house clean and tidy, and trying to get time to do what we want to do.
7 Top Tips for Reducing Stress Over the Holiday Season
Here are my top tips for keeping your holidays stress free.
1) Make a Plan
Nothing reduces stress like a good plan!
Make yourself some lists. I suggest you make the following:
- Deep cleaning that can be done ahead of time
- Traditions and activities you plan to attend
- Activities you are hosting
- Meal plans for the week leading up to the holiday
- Meal plan for the holiday celebrations
- Shopping lists for the meal plans
- Gift ideas for each person that you need to gift to.
I like to keep all my lists together in one book, so I don’t lose the bits of paper. You might like to store them online in a Google doc instead.
Divide your lists up in to the weeks and days you have left leading up to the holidays. If you have too much to fit in, look to see what you can get by without getting done. Do people REALLY care that your baseboards are dusted?
Grab a blackboard or white board and divide it in to the 7 days of the week. Add this weeks activities to the board, as well as anything that you need to remember.
Try to delegate some of your jobs to other members of the family as well.
Clutter is the biggest instigator of stress in my life. Nothing fits in the cupboards, things spill on the floor and you trip over them and everything looks messy.
The end of the year is the PERFECT time to go through your kids (and your own) clothes and toys to see what you can get rid of.
- Does it fit (clothes)
- Do I like it
- Is it rubbish
- Can it be on sold
- Is it worth storing to pass on
- Is it worth giving away
- Do the kids play with it (toys)
Clear out as much ‘stuff’ as you can from your life. Chances are if you haven’t used or worn something for 6 months, you don’t need it. If it is still in good shape you can sell it on, store it to pass it on, or give it to a charity store.
Things that you do keep or store, get some boxes or bins to keep them in. This helps to keep them organized as well as giving them somewhere to belong. If you are storing toys or clothes for younger children make sure you label the bins clearly.
3) Deep Clean ahead of time
If you are hosting people or a party these holidays, there are somethings you can do well ahead of time. Get in and clean out your cupboards, dust your top shelves and wipe down your baseboards. Deep clean your fridge and freezer, wash your curtains or whatever else you deem necessary a good few weeks before the panic sets in.
4) Make Time For Yourself
Amongst all this organizing, make sure you are taking some time out to have time to yourself. Be it a coffee, reading a book, a bath or a walk. Schedule some time out and take it. You deserve it.
5) Ask for Help
You don’t have to organize and execute everything yourself. Learn how to let go and allow others to help. And do go back and correct what they did. Even young children can wipe down the table and chairs, wash the fronts of your cupboards and other small tasks.
Try making the meal that you are hosting a pot-luck. You may like to suggest certain dishes or recipes so that you don’t end up with 12 plates of green beans and no turkey! A Google spread sheet is GREAT for that. You can write the recipes along the left side, and have links to them in the next column and then you can share it with the family and allow them to edit it so they can add their names beside what they want to bring.
If you want to learn more about getting organized these holidays, there is a fab course alllll about it from my friend Hilary.
6) Learn to Say No
You actually don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to attend every event, every pageant and every concert. Sometimes the best memories are made when you all stay home and watch a movie in your Pajamas, or play some boardgames together.
You do what works for you, and if you find that your weeks are filling up too much, make some priorities and chose to stay home.
7) Keep your Spending in Check
Nothing causes more stress (except maybe family) then having money troubles. The holiday season is known for getting out of hand with spending. Here are somethings that you can do to minimize the financial stresses over the holiday season.
Use these 7 tips to minimize your stress levels this holiday period. Don’t bow to pressure to spend all the money, go all the places and do all the things for all the people.
Pick a few key things that matter most and do them well.
If you feel like you really want to get your house sorted before the holiday season and to get your life proper organized. Hilary from Pulling Curls has a life changing Home Organization course that you may well benefit from. You can find out more about it here.
Happy holidays, peace be with you.