Enjoy the Season: 5 Ways to Manage Holiday Stress

CPC Career Professionals of Canada News

By Margaret Page, Life Coach.

The holiday season is notorious for being the most stressful time of the year. In addition to the demands of regular life, we have shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, school plays, parties, menu planning… and did I mention it’s the most stressful time of the year?

Unfortunately, a stressful holiday is simply not enjoyable. If you’ve ever been there (and honestly, who hasn’t?), you’re familiar with that silent promise: next year, I’ll do it differently.

Aside from renting a remote cabin, there’s only one way to ensure a low-stress holiday season: have a strategy in place to keep it all manageable. Here are five easy ways to minimize the stress:

Strategy #1:

Do what you love and delegate the rest – Time is short. Don’t waste it on drudgery! If you don’t have the heart to put the tree up, don’t put the tree up. A beautiful bouquet or a candle arrangement can spread just as much cheer. Ask others to help you get things done; the neighbour’s teenage daughter would probably love to wrap your gifts for a very reasonable fee. You don’t need to do it all yourself. The key is to get organized ahead of time… plan to ask for help.

Strategy #2:

Shop online – As much as possible, avoid the long lines at the post office, shopping malls, and even grocery stores. Not only is online shopping faster and easier, but it allows you to completely avoid the traffic and crowds that just take all the fun out of the holiday season. If you can, order several gifts from the same company, and make use of the gift wrap option when you check out. For those hard-to-buy-for people on your list, here are some suggestions: wine, beer, or non-alcoholic festive beverages (maybe a wine-of-the-month club); gift baskets of food, or personality-related theme products; magazine subscriptions; tickets to an event such as a concert or live performance; flowers; books; and restaurant gift certificates.

Strategy #3:

Stick with your exercise routine – When we get busy, it’s often the first thing to go. But exercise is absolutely critical to stress management! Now more than ever, you need those feel-good hormones and all the extra oxygen. So make a commitment before the winter crush that you’ll always have time for at least a few minutes of exercise every day. Come January (and those New Year’s resolutions), you’ll be glad you did.

Strategy #4:

Get Creative! – Whether you get the urge to build a snowman or to decorate a cookie, let yourself play a little. Arrange some flowers, paint a greeting card, whatever calls you. Your enthusiasm for life will get a boost and your tension will just evaporate.

Strategy #5:

Make time to enjoy the season – The best stress-management strategies in the world aren’t worth a snowflake unless you slow down enough to savor the season in quiet peaceful ways, like taking a walk to enjoy the holiday lights and listening to music in front of the fire. Make time to just sit, and breathe, and just be. Enjoy!

Margaret Page is a professional Business Coach and Life Coach who guides individuals along the path to success, providing the encouragement and support they need to live a life less ordinary. To find out if coaching is right for you, schedule a complimentary call by sending an e-mail to margaret@beyondthepage.ca or call (604) 885-0208. © Copyright 2006 Margaret Page

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