November 21, 2018

When the Holidays Are Stressful...

I watched a video by the Buzzfeed team Ladylike, followed by this article from Forbes and it helped me conclude that I am burning, if not already burnt, out. Since this discovery, I have been finding small ways to relieve bits of stress at a time and taking baby steps into calming myself throughout the holiday season.

Realize you are only one person with two arms
You can only do so much in any given period of time and trying to exceed that is going to cause stress. Realize whatever you do decide to take on and complete is one more task you had under your belt than when you started. Even if it's not four or five tasks, it's one and that's better than none. To go hand in hand with my next point, make a to-do list of things you need to finish. and check them off one by one. For me, it helps to get smaller or shorting things done first because it helps me finish my list, but tackling bigger tasks first is a good method too because then you have the easy things left.
Also, please never be afraid to ask for help from people. I struggle with this, but if you need help brainstorming ideas, or even financial help, you have a support system.

Lists, lists, lists
I swear by lists. I have a list for everything. This is a big reason I started to bullet journal because it allows me to keep all of my lists in the same place. I can also flip back to old lists and add to them or scratch things off of them and always add new lists without fear of losing them. I have found this especially useful when it comes to gifts for the holidays. If you write down each person you need to buy for and brainstorm ideas for them when you see something. Instead of trying to keep everybody in check mentally and potentially forgetting something, this has come in handy, even for the people I'm stumped on.

Shop online, or weekday afternoons
Working in a brick & mortar bookshop, it pains me to tell you to shop online. But, going into stores and shopping can be a stressful experience. Juggling your list, coupons, money, and gifts all while trying to not bump into the lady in front of you who brought her seven children to the mall. You may also be able to knock a few people off of your list in one place and hit the dollar amount for free shipping. A lot of stores also have a Buy Online, Pickup in Store option, so if you want to go browse for somebody you have no ideas for you can also pick up gifts for people you found online and you're sure of. Because I work retail, I can tell you that our least busy times of the day are between like 11-3pm because kids are still in school and people are still working. it tends to quiet down during those times and you beat the morning rush and people who come in after school & work. 

When it comes to family things, start a group chat
My family is the most last minute group of people. With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I don't think anybody knew what they were supposed to make until Sunday. My mom still needs to go grocery shopping tonight and make everything for dinner tomorrow, which is going to be crazy. If it will help you, put everybody in a group chat earlier. Even if you can't cook or bake until a day before or the day of, at least you have everything to do so. Group chats also help to get everybody on the same page with times for get togethers and events for the holidays.

Remember it's the holiday season
There is so much good in the holiday season. Take some time for yourself top sit back and watch a holiday movie (the Hallmark ones are my f a v o r i t e.) Go see some lights in your neighborhood or your city. Find a local school doing a holiday band/choir concert. There is so much beauty in the next few months, don't let small stresses that will soon pass get you down through the most wonderful time of the year.

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