HOW TO PLAN A STRESS-FREE HOLIDAY
As a planner, it can be stressful to think about the upcoming holiday season and all of the goings-on that come with it! Visiting family, gift exchanges, baking, cooking, and shopping! So much to do and only a matter of months to enjoy all of it. What started out as thrilling can easily become completely overwhelming. We invite you to take a moment, sit back, and let us offer some advice for what’s sure to be the busiest time of year for many of you. We’ve been there too!
1. SET GIFTING GOALS
Gifts can become a major focal point of the holidays so it’s important to put a great deal of time and consideration into thinking about how to present your presents. However, it doesn’t have to take the joy out of giving!
Making a gift list is fairly simple. Taking your list one step further and organizing it to your liking will make it easier on you in the long run. Try categorizing your list by priority (is the gift for a friend, family member, or coworker), method of purchase (online, or in-store), size (stocking stuffer or some assembly required). Creating a timeline for when your treasures should be purchased will also help with calculating shipping times. Delays would be one less thing to worry about!
2. SET A BUDGET
We touched on budgeting in our blog post 10 TIPS TO BUDGET BETTER FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON earlier this season and it’s made the list once again! Because finances are so closely tied to this time of year, it helps to carefully plan where your money is going. No one wants to start off a new year with money woes (if it can be helped)!
Set yourself up for success with a budget for each area where you see yourself spending outside your usual limits this season: gifting, social gatherings, travel, cooking and baking, décor etc. Make sure you factor in some wiggle room for unexpected or emergency purchases. You’ll be glad you did!
3. CREATE A RELAXATION STATION
No matter how much you plan ahead, there may come a moment when it’s time to take a step back and relax. Be ready with a designated safe space where you can go and reconnect with YOU. Breathe in and out... and get back at it when you’re ready.
Create a corner of your home where you can go and indulge in some self-care. Throw some extra pillows on your bed and settle down for a quick nap or turn your bathroom into an oasis with bath salts and scented candles. Maybe even stop by your favorite coffee shop! It might help to be preemptive and schedule a time each week (or day) to step into your happy place and regroup.
4. TRY A DIFFERENT APPROACH
Do you have some holiday to-dos on your “not so fun” list? For example, sending out cards, decorating your home, cooking for a large gathering, preparing for visiting relatives? It might help to try a different approach. We are creatures of habit, a fresh take on an old to-do might help change your perspective and make it less of a chore.
If you’re someone who is used to doing most of the heavy lifting, it never hurts to delegate. Choose a member of the family (or a friend) who can assist you with the one thing you know needs to get done, but you’re less than enthused to begin. If cards are a major worry – try going digital this year and see how it’s received. Maybe keep the décor minimalist this year if you’re used to going all out! Sometimes less is more.
5. BE REALISTIC
As hard as it is to say during the buzz of the season: Don’t try to do too much. It’s easy to get swept away with all of the excitement that leads up to the BIG day, remember to be adaptable! Not expecting too much of yourself might help you relax and go with the flow. After all, this time of year is all about making memories you’ll cherish for years to come!
Perhaps a holiday gathering doesn’t go quite as planned, the cookies don’t rise when you spent all day trying to make a homemade batch, or you’ve (once again) been asked to plan the holiday party at work when you don’t have time. Don’t forget: sometimes a mistake makes a great story, a run to the store for a replacement dessert isn’t a crime, and you can always say NO if something is thrown on your plate that is just too much to handle at the time.
You might be a superhero or you might be like many of us who just want to do our best and stay cheerful during a favorite time of year. Either way, how you do the holidays is up to you! However you choose to celebrate this season, we hope it’s stress-free and exactly how you hoped it would be! If you end up applying any of the above to your holiday routine, make sure to share it with us on our socials @the_happy_planner!
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