The holidays are full of fun and family, hope and cheer. But they can also be stressful and overbooked. (Like that year both your mother-in-law and your brother’s family somehow ended up staying at your house for a week—too many visions of sugarplums in the basement!) So how do you find peace and joy while managing all those frantic trips to the store, the harried baking frenzy in the kitchen and your child’s kindergarten classroom party? The following are a few ideas for making this holiday season a little calmer and more enjoyable.
Before the holidays hit, it’s a good idea to sit down with a calendar and your planner so you can get an idea of what’s coming. Pencil in tentative engagements, but block out events that are already planned. Record which day work is having that fancy dinner, and decide things like if and when you’re going to put up lights or decorate a tree. Find out when guests are arriving. If you’re the one traveling, be sure to make accommodations in advance and send your friends or family the itinerary so they know when to pick you up from the airport. Hate planning? You can make it a fun activity by listening to holiday music while having family members share favorite holiday traditions they would like to see happen again this year. Once you have an idea of what’s already happening, what needs to get done and what people want to do, you can prioritize. Divide your list into needs and wants. Categorizing everything into these two categories will help you feel confident in how you decide to manage your time. Then you won’t be wandering the Festival of Trees and realize you still haven’t purchased a turkey for your extended family dinner.
Another important aspect of managing your time is delegating. With all of the obligations and engagements you do have, figure out a way to share the responsibilities. You’re probably thinking, “But nobody puts together the winter gala like I do.” That may be true, but is it really worth losing your mind? Sharing tasks with others, whether coworkers, friends or members of your family, will help everyone get involved, create feelings of unity and ultimately free up time from your schedule. So before you head up on the roof to hang those lights, consider calling a service that will put them up and take them down for you.
Often, delegating responsibilities or eliminating them entirely just isn’t possible. In those instances, simplifying is the best way to get everything done. It may be you’re used to making a special caramel cheesecake that leaves everyone oohing and ahhing—ironically it has more steps than the assembly for that Ikea desk you gifted your teenage son—but having dessert catered this year will take some pressure off of you. Besides, nobody will mind those éclairs you had delivered from the new downtown bakery everyone’s raving about. The most complicated problem of the season is shopping for everyone … and their dog. So instead of facing icy roads and crowded stores, simplify your life and shop online in your robe and pajamas. Melaleuca has several great options for stocking stuffers, even some for that lovable pooch of yours. And with Melaleuca Marketplace you can shop over 650 stores to find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list—including those who live miles away. Ordering online can make your gift-giving experience relatively hassle free. Not to mention, you will free up time to spend with family and friends that would otherwise have been spent wandering the department store or waiting in line at the post office.
Let It Go
Despite dressing up as your favorite superhero for Halloween this year, you just don’t have the power to fly or freeze time. Getting everything done on that list of yours seems next to impossible, but there’s no reason to let your inability to time travel keep you from enjoying the holidays. Learn to let things go. First, though, it’s important to be able to say no. Know when enough is enough, and don’t be afraid to turn down helping with the classroom party or ringing the Salvation Army bell downtown, especially if it means having a little more time to spend with your great-grandmother. Of course the holidays are all about serving and giving when you can, but don’t overdo it! For example, if your daughter has a lead role in the Nutcracker the same night as the neighbor’s cocktail party, make a quick call and thank them for the invite, but explain you have something else to attend. If you’re worried about straining the relationship, suggest another time you can get together after the craziness is over. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and you won’t miss your tiny dancer’s debut. If you absolutely can’t let certain things go, postpone them. No one will mind receiving your family picture and newsletter in January. In fact, it will give them a little cheer during the heaviest part of the post-holiday blues.
Are you feeling less than excited about the holiday happenings? It’s not enough to just be efficient with your time if the season is making you miserable. Make time to take some much-needed “you” time, whether that’s hitting the gym for an hour to blow off some stress or curling up by the fire to read that classic novel you’ve been trying to get to for years. A little timeout will help you maintain your sanity and keep a brighter outlook about the hustle and bustle. Also, getting adequate rest each night, eating well-balanced meals—even when you’re on the go—and making sure to get your daily Oligo® will help you sustain good health. The last thing you have time for is getting sick! You’ve been careful for months about counting calories, swapping snacks out with Attain Bars® and hitting the gym. So what do you do when you’re at the annual family cookie swap? Splurge—just a little! You may find yourself worrying that having a cookie or two will ruin your caloric intake for the day, but you feel punished and resentful that everyone else gets to enjoy all the delicious holiday sweets. Instead of riddling yourself with guilt about the extra calories those treats may add to your daily count, allow yourself to have one of Aunt Marge’s famous frosted sugar cookies, and savor everything about it. Just remember to approach the dinner table with an attitude of moderation—your mind and body will both thank you. It’s true that the holidays can be overwhelming, but hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy them as you practice some of these timesaving tips. After all, this time of year is about celebrating, and everyone deserves that opportunity—even you.
It’s true that the holidays can be overwhelming, but hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy them as you practice some of these timesaving tips. After all, this time of year is about celebrating, and everyone deserves that opportunity—even you.