Can you believe it's already December? And as of today, there are just 27 days left in 2017... and 21 days until Christmas.
This is the busiest time of year, filled with holiday parties, travel plans, visitors, giving back, and gift giving. And often, this time of year leaves us stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted and overstuffed with delicious food and booze just to get through.
Does this sound like the holidays to you? Or was it just me....
Well, if you can relate, know that it doesn't have to be this way.
Truthfully, my holiday seasons used to be hectic. But over the last three years, I've been challenged with extra "stressors" on top of an already hectic season.
Over the last few Christmas seasons, I've found myself moving into a new apartment in the midst of the holidays. I've found myself pitching and launching a business (ta-da, here I am!). And this year, we're preparing to welcome our baby girl into our home in January.
In the past, having even ONE more thing to do over the holidays would send me over the cranky, not-enough-sleep-or-wine-in-the-world-for-this edge. But with the lessons I've learned in coaching - about perspective, mindset and positivity - in the last few years I found ways to not only survive these challenges and the holidays, but truly enjoy them.
And here's the thing - you shouldn't just be surviving the holidays (I mean, really, that's NOT what life is about).
This is an incredible time of year - and with the right mindset and perspective - and some tricks up your sleeve, this will be the most joyful and happiest time of the year!
So how do you thrive in the chaos? How do you shift from stress to pleasure?
Here are a few tips that have worked for me. And I know they will work for you.
- Schedule some downtime. Yup, actually schedule it in your calendar, just like you would any other commitment. Whether it's a yoga class (book it now!), a hot date in the bath with a book, or a morning to sleep in, you need it. And don't wait until December 20th and realize there's no time for it. Do it today. Your future self will thank you.
- Keep your to-do's organized. Between holiday parties, kid's concerts, and guests arriving, there's a lot on your mind. Get it onto paper - or make it digital. I love making lists in Evernote (bonus - they're shareable with husbands!). Start a new December "to-do list" today and brain dump everything you know you have to do for the month. Add to it as the month goes by, and cross things off as you get it done. This will help keep your mind clear so you can be present when you're with friends and sleep soundly at night.
- Lower your "normal life" standards. Make your usual chores easier (this is something that can help beyond the holidays). Let the dishes sit in the sink a little longer. Don't run half-full laundry loads just because. Ask for help when you need it from family and friends. Host a pot-luck instead of a dinner where you cook everything. And use technology to help stay on top of it all. For groceries, I use "Out of Milk" so I never have to scour the fridge before running to Costco or Whole Foods - and I share the list with my husband so he's just as able to get groceries as I am!
- Simplify. No, but really, keep it simple. Not every moment has to be Instagrammable (unless this is your business in which case, you've got this). Get gift bags to save on wrapping time. Or even better, ask family and friends to opt out of gifts and plan to go a concert, dinner or the spa together instead. Say "no" when you just can't do it. Shop online, and send your Christmas cards late (again).
- Focus on the fun. Enjoy the extra time with friends and family. Put a little too much rum in your eggnog. Dance so hard it would embarrass YOUR parents. Belt out your favourite Christmas song. Enjoy this special time of the year because it only comes once a year. And it's precious.
Those are my suggestions. And I know they will help you enjoy this holiday season, no matter what comes your way.
Make a commitment today, to yourself, to celebrate and enjoy the precious moments this holiday.
Success Coach, Speaker & HuffPost Contributor
PS. With only 21 days to Christmas and 27 days left in 2017, holiday stress is already in the air.
But the holidays are meant to be enjoyed, not just survived. So here are some tips to truly LOVE and savor this special time of year:
- Schedule some downtime. Yup, actually schedule it in your calendar. Do this today.
- Keep your to-do's organized. Get it onto paper - or make it digital. Start a new December "to-do list" today and brain dump everything you know you have to do for the month.
- Lower your "normal life" standards. Make your usual chores easier. Let the dishes sit, ask for help, host a pot-luck.
- Simplify. No, but really, keep it simple. Say "no", shop online and send your Christmas cards late (or not at all).
- Focus on the fun. Enjoy the extra time with friends and family. Have a little too much rum, dance, and belt out your favourite Christmas song. (The order of those is pure coincidence...)
This time of year is precious. With the right mindset and intentions, you can make the most of every moment in this special season. I hope you enjoy all the surprises, songs, visitors and festivities!