Avoiding Holiday Stress
It’s official – the holidays are here. Between professional obligations, family celebrations, and “Friendsgiving,” your schedule is probably pretty full. I asked Sharon Hussey, Controller at Market Street Talent, for tips to avoid burnout this season and she had a great list of suggestions!
Don’t Say Yes to Everything
How many invitations do you get during the holiday season? It’s easy to find yourself without a free weekend between mid-November and New Year’s Day if you attend every event you’re invited to. Sharon suggests prioritizing the activities you want to be part of and politely declining those that you’re dreading. “Everyone understands how busy this time of year is – for the most part, you’re not going to offend someone by nicely telling them that you’re overbooked,” says Sharon.
Do you bake cookies every year to give to friends, neighbors and/or coworkers? Sharon has a plan to make the process easier. “I heard a great tip about holiday cookies: make your cookie dough, scoop it onto a cookie sheet, and put it right into the freezer. Once the dough is frozen, portion the cookies into decorative bags and attach labels with baking instructions. This takes less of your time and allows the recipient to bake off the cookies when they want them, instead of winding up with another dozen cookies sitting on their counter.”
Do What Matters to You
If making cookies or sending holiday cards is just a burden to you and doesn’t bring you any joy, skip it. Holiday gestures like cards aren’t required and can take up a lot of your time. Why not put your energy into decorating your tree, volunteering at the food bank, or anything else that you actually enjoy?
So it’s the day before your family’s celebration and you haven’t wrapped any of your gifts? Don’t beat yourself up. Feeling bad about not accomplishing everything ahead of the big day doesn’t help you enjoy the holidays. “Ask for help!” says Sharon. “Don’t be afraid to ask if you need an extra set of hands to get things done in time.”
Keep Things in Perspective
This time of year can inspire FOMO (fear of missing out) in even the least likely suspects. Don’t create more stress for yourself by playing the comparison game. Social media makes it easy to think everyone is having a Pinterest-worthy holiday season, but the reality is everybody’s stressed out. Keep your focus on having a happy and healthy season, rather than keeping up with the trends. Sharon leaves us with these words of advice – “If it won’t matter to you next year, don’t worry about it this year. And don’t underestimate the power of a glass of wine!”