Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday stress? Do less!

Can your holiday season really be stress free?

For the past few weeks I have been inundated with tips and tricks from magazines, newsletter and blog posts promising a stress free holiday if I follow their simple steps.  And you know what? I don't buy any of it!  As a mother of young children the holidays are going to be stressful if you try to do everything you did pre-children.  It is the same concept as losing weight-there is no magic diet.  To weigh less, you must eat less. If you want to minimize stress, you have to do less.  


So for what it is worth, here is one more stress free holiday tip:

Do less!

1) Make a list of everything you "have" to do.

2) Write a statement describing what the holiday season means to you (your values may have changed since becoming a mom). 

3) While reviewing the list, ask yourself if each item relates to your holiday values. Do you want to do each item?  Does it give you meaning or enjoyment?

     -If yes, great-keep doing it.
     -If no, scratch it off the list.

4) Whatever you scratched off, give yourself permission to be guilt free about it.

5) If something is really important to another family member-ask them to take it on.

6) Whatever you decided to keep-enjoy it to the fullest knowing that you don't have to rush through it to scratch something else on your list.

In using my own advice, I no longer send holiday cards or bake more than 1 kind of cookie from scratch.  I decline invitations to events that I really don't want to attend and I don't really care if my gifts are beautifully wrapped (I actually buy a lot of gift cards).  So call me a Scrooge if you like.  All I can tell you is that I make sure to plan the holidays in a way that is meaningful to me and my family-not a list of things to do.  I can honestly say, the holidays are not an increase of stress for me-because I am clear about the things I want to do and the things I have left behind.  If I miss these tasks when I am in a less demanding stage in my life-I will invite them back.

Are you up for revising your holiday "to-do" list in a way that creates meaning and joy instead of stress?


  1. OMG!! this is fantastic. thank you, heather! great stuff. this is exactly what i need to keep myself authentically focused during the joyful chaos of the season.

  2. Thanks for your feedback Valerie. I am so glad you took something away from this post. YOU do YOU this season!