Avoid Holiday Overwhelm

Roxy ChristmasChristmas is less than a week away. How did that happen? In my mind and my sense of time, it’s only a week or so after Thanksgiving! If you are scurrying to “get it all done” before the big day, here are some tips to help you to avoid holiday overwhelm.

  1. Say no when you have to. – Say no when you need to. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every event or go to every party.
  2. Don’t overspend or blow your budget. – Set a spending limit for the holidays and stick to it! Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend and don’t get tricked into overspending just because you are in the “holiday mood.” Use cash whenever possible to prevent the January credit card bill hangover!
  3. Adjust your holiday expectations. – As much as we might like it to be different, the holidays are strife with “normal life stuff” and don’t always resemble a Norman Rockwell painting. Don’t expect the holidays to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. If dinner is late or something is forgotten, let it go. It will not be remembered ten years down the road.
  4. Don’t skip your workouts and watch your waistline. – The holidays can be hell on your health, your waistline, and your weight. You have over a month where you can easily consume an extra 1000 calories a day in treats and drinks. It’s easy to find extra time in your schedule by cutting back on gym visits or afternoon walks, but because exercise is such an effective form of stress relief, all you’ll be buying yourself is exhaustion, added stress, and extra pounds if you forgo your normal workout routine.
  5. Stay Cheerful and Positive. – If you feel holiday overwhelm creeping up you and you may be nearing your breaking point, don’t focus on the bad. An optimistic outlook will help you cope with seasonal challenges that come your way.
  6. Keep your priorities  straight. – Combat your hectic schedule by reassessing what matters the most to you. Avoid holiday overwhelm by focusing on what is important, truly important, and don’t get bogged down in the other stuff.

Don’t allow the holidays to become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and holiday overwhelm that can bring your down during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can head things off before they lead to a total holiday meltdown. Enjoy your holidays by choosing some positive thinking, a little planning, and some mindfulness so that you can have a peaceful and joyful time during the holidays.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten December 2004 – My Dog Roxy

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