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  • Writer's picturejondab

Make December a Stress-Free Holiday Month



December is recognized as a National Stress-Free Holiday Month.


There are many blogs that have been written about ways to plan ahead in order to enjoy your holidays including the one that I wrote on Plan to Enjoy Your Holidays.


But now, here it is. We are starting the month of December. How are we doing?


I made my list of all that I want to do to make this holiday special for me. I put on my calendar the times that I planned on doing each task. Then I looked at that calendar and was still overwhelmed.

And on top of that I suddenly got an uptick on clients wanting help in December.


So, what to do?


· Ask for help.

I am asking more and more from my son who lives nearby. I have not only asked him to help me put up all of my greenery and lights but also to bring in some Chinese food from a restaurant on the day he is helping me so that I won’t have to cook that day. He has already helped me get down all my decorations from the attic, and he will also help me put things back into the attic at the end of the holidays.

I also ask friends to help me out when I need an extra hand.


· Set reminders to relax and hydrate.

I can get so wrapped up in a project that I forget to check in with myself. I use a mindfulness app that chimes and reminds me to stop what I am doing, get my shoulders down from my ears, stand up and walk a minute, and drink some water.


· Schedule time for friends.

As busy as I am, I am making time with friends a priority. This month I will have coffee with a girlfriend, have a goals group meeting at my home, and have a couple over for dinner.


· Simplify regular tasks.

Because I am baking cookies and other treats for friends and family, I am simplifying my meals. Except for that meal that I am hosting a couple and a meal for Christmas Day, I will only have very simple and easy to prepare meals.


· Simplify gift giving.

I am giving many items that can be mailed directly to the recipient. I’ve ordered holiday wreaths for three families (after checking first to see if they would enjoy them). I’m ordering gift certificates for favorite restaurants for a couple of family members. There still will be some wrapping and mailing but less than usual.


· Shutting down my office earlier in the day.

I plan on having some down time in the evening to sit in the living room and enjoy my tree and decorations. I will light some candles and turn on some quiet holiday music. Setting aside this quiet time will also help with my sleep.


Just coming up with this list has reduced my feeling of overwhelm. I know that life happens and that I need to be ready to deviate from my plans and be flexible. I also know that people are very understanding and if I don’t get everything done, life will go on and the holidays will still remain special.


How are you adapting your original plans to make December a stress-free month?


If you recognize that you are struggling with planning your time or projects and want some help or accountability in developing and working your organizational plan or other projects, join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space for You virtual support group.


Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of four books as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.


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Julie Bestry
Julie Bestry
Dec 06, 2023

Setting reminders to relax and hydrate are so important, not just at holiday time, but whenever life seems to be getting out of hand. I'm dealing with stressors due to a family medical emergency, and I often find that it gets to be 9 or 10 at night and I've eaten nothing but breakfast. A reminder is smart! And good for you for making sure that Chinese food shows up just when you need it! May you have a stress-free December!

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Linda Samuels
Linda Samuels
Dec 04, 2023

It's funny that December is National Stress-Free Holiday Month. For most people, this is one of the MOST stressful months. But excellent strategies like the ones you use are a great way to embody this idea of having stress-free holidays. I love ALL of the tips you suggested, and especially the enlisting help piece. Often, we think we need to do everything ourselves. But we don't. And being able to recognize that and share the load of tasks and responsibilities can make an enormous difference for our wellbeing.


I wish you a happy, healthy, and stress-free holiday season!

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jondab
jondab
Dec 04, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for your response. I am learning to ask for help more often and I find that people want to help when they know what to do. It makes them happy. I enjoy my son's help and have learned how patient he is.

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dnqsolutions
Nov 29, 2023

It's such a good reminder that no matter what you get done or don't get done, the holidays will still happen and they will still be special.

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