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Could you use any of these 5 tips for managing holiday stress?

October '18

Yup! It’s that time of year. The holidays are here and you may well be muttering to yourself, shaking your head upon occasion, or just plain sighing about all the work that lies ahead. No doubt about it; it’s easy to get overwhelmed during this time of year.

As you probably know, I moved recently, and am definitely shaking my head as I sort through boxes of files, purging and pitching, day after day, so I can walk around this one bedroom apartment I now call home. Sorting through files is a daunting task for me, but yesterday a smile crossed my face when I unburied a copy of the results of a query I’d posed to my return-to-college students years ago when I was dean of Continuing Education at Wellesley College.

These students always had too much to do with too little time. Most had jobs and many had kids along with the work involved when earning a college degree. Since I once had a full-time job, along with raising two teen-aged boys while working on my doctorate, I could easily sympathize with the challenges they faced. That exhausted feeling as they finally slipped between the sheets at night was a familiar one.

The document that made me smile revealed the results of a request to  them to share their best tips for managing their time to avoid being overwhelmed. I thought I might share five of them with you—hoping one or two might prove useful, and brighten your days.

  • Give time to yourself first before everything, everyone else. Your time will be more valuable to others when it is coming from a strong, healthy place. Often I can feel depleted, crabby, and rundown if I do not do something for myself.
  • I keep a monthly calendar that I carry with me always with everything I need to do—days papers are due, work appointments, my children’s schedules, time for my husband and me to be alone, and time for quiet solitude. Even though I’m so busy, I follow the schedule for both work and play. Balance is important.
  • As a procrastinator, I have realized that thinking, “I will have plenty of time to do this later,” is not true, but actually the opposite is true. Only if I do this now will it get done. A big part of managing time for me is to do as much as I can.
  • I try to slow down my pace (inside also) and take one thing at a time, by priority of what needs to be done first, allowing extra time for “life” issues when that is possible and for myself to do nothing once in a while.
  • I keep myself well rested so when 9:00 pm comes and I put my son to bed! I can stay awake and read.

Hope one of these tips proves helpful to you. If you’d like more ideas for managing your time and avoiding “holiday-season overwhelm”, Day 4: Optimal Organization and Day 6: Time on Your Terms in my recent book, “Midlife Magic: The Seven Day Health Care Plan to Boost Your Energy and Make You Smile” covers this topic in depth with some action steps for lowering that holiday stress level. You can learn more here.

And if you have any favorite tips, please share them. We could all benefit from your experience.

Happy Halloween!

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