It’s Holiday Crunch Time
How to Bring it All Together
By Marlene Wagner
Yes, the biggest holiday of the year is on the countdown. I call it crunch time. Still so much to do in preparing for it all.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve provided helpful information to get you past the difficult times and make it a little easier.
Today I’m just here to refresh your memory on previous email blogs.
I am starting with stress because I know we are all starting to feel it setting in.
While stress is a normal part of our lives, we have recently become more aware of its harmful effects.
We should all strive to reduce stress where we can. One unique form of stress is deadline stress.
It’s the stress you feel when you are worried about deadlines. Fear of time running out.
Does that sound like something you’re dealing with now?
We have a thousand things running through our heads all day and feel like deer in headlights.
More gifts to buy and wrap. Tree and house to decorate. Food planning, grocery shopping, and food preparations.
Extend invites and RSVP to holiday parties. Plan your word robe for parties and at-home entertaining.
Hair appointments, manicures, pedicures, etc., etc. It doesn’t stop running through our heads all day long.
We are exhausted, stressed, and full of anxiety. Only to get up the following day and repeat it all over again.
This is deadline stress.
Let me help you pull it together.
Make a Plan
Do you know how you are going to meet your deadline? Do you have a plan? If not, do this as soon as possible.
Taking the time to outline a rough plan will likely reduce the deadline stress you feel.
Group the activities such as phone calls. List all the to-do’s you’ll do by phone. Set a day and time to do it all at one time.
Group all the to-do’s you’ll use the car for. Set a date to complete each one. How many can you do simultaneously and group those with completion dates.
Make a list of all the to-dos in your home. Set a day you’ll be home all day and work on those.
Do you get the idea? The objective is to lessen the stress with a workable plan and completion dates.
Once you get used to particular habits, it’s incredible how automatically they become part of your life.
For years I’ve had one day of the week I’d take care of all my errands, make a list of all the stops I’d be making, and then create my route.
There is never any wasted time driving to and from or forgetting something that needs to be done because I made my plan, and the list goes with me.
Set More Realistic Deadlines
We tend to be overly optimistic when initially setting deadlines. While this is a hard habit to break, you must get more realistic.
Setting deadlines that aren’t reasonable is only going to add to your stress. Make sure you set realistic deadlines that you can meet.
Make a note for each task and the date it needs to be met. Then, set the date to work on that project to complete it by the deadline.
Do this for everything on the to-do list. Your stress will be lifted.
Stop and Take a Deep Breath
You have a day that starts with everything that could go wrong does. Now is the time to stop and take a deep breath.
Deep Breathing is an excellent way to manage stress.
Sadly, we’re bombarded with multiple stress-inducing factors daily. Life is hard.
Stressors don’t have to be small things that build up over time, they can also be one big life event that comes out of nowhere and turns your world upside down.
Whichever way stress burrows into your life, the problems of dealing with it are the same.
Luckily, one technique that’s proven to be successful at managing stress is deep Breathing.
This calming technique has many benefits besides lowering stress levels, such as improved blood flow and helping you sleep better.
So, keep reading to discover how deep Breathing can make you healthier, stronger, and less anxious.
What Is Deep Breathing
Deep Breathing is a technique used to help you achieve inner peace and a sense of calm.
The whole point of deep Breathing is that it allows you to breathe through your abdomen rather than the shallow Breathing we typically do through our chest.
What abdominal Breathing does is help control the nervous system by reducing the release of stress hormones.
Thus, it encourages the body to calm down and relax, decreasing anxiety levels.
Consequently, this enhances your overall well-being.
Deep Breathing helps you focus more on what you’re doing. So, rather than make rash decisions, you can take your time to think things over.
Focus on Your Inner Peace
Deadline stress is like all other types of stress; you must find ways to lower it.
We have just outlined one way. Other ways to lower stress are to focus on your self-care. Make time for yourself.
Taking a break might be the last thing on your mind. Taking a break is a great way to re-energize and refocus.
It’s also a chance to step back from the details and look at your progress.
A long soak in the tub or a 15-minute meditation routine. Striving to be more mindful of yourself will naturally reduce stress.
Let Go of Perfection
Perfection is the biggest enemy of “done.” If you are already stressed about meeting a deadline, adding the stress of perfection doesn’t make sense.
The reality is perfect doesn’t exist. You will only miss more deadlines if you keep nitpicking every little detail.
Don’t invite the stress of perfection into your life.
In addition to all the work that goes into planning and preparing for the ideal holiday, most of us do not have the Hallmark family and friends.
Every family has someone they have to put up with at the family dinner or Christmas party, never knowing when and what to expect from them.
It’s stressful and causes anxiety, never knowing when someone’s behavior will change the vibration of the gathering.
There is often an obligation to invite the disruptive guest, so preparing yourself in advance will lessen the stress and anxiety.
With the right mindset, you can make it a positive experience. Below are a few ways to help manage this anxiety:
- Plan and know what to expect.
- Practice what you’ll do or say beforehand to feel more confident to handle the situation appropriately.
- Avoid what triggers the disruptive behavior.
- What are you afraid might happen?
- Why do these thoughts make you feel uneasy?
- What would need to happen for those thoughts to stop bothering you?
As unpleasant as someone’s behavior can be, remember, we are not responsible for how someone chooses to act.
Yes, it isn’t very pleasant when it’s someone we love and are close to—all the more reason to be aware of the triggers and how to best defuse the behavior.
While it is not easy to deal with, there are ways to overcome social anxiety and improve your quality of life.
Remembering the examples to manage social anxiety may help you deal with it better in the future.
Remember, the holidays are a joyous time to enjoy our loved ones and special friends.
It’s the reason and reward for the work preparing for this special time. I wish you a happy, healthy Merry Christmas!
If you have any particular challenges, let me know. I’ll include it in my content.
Starting today, make yourself a priority and begin living your best life.
But before we go, always remember to
Be true to your magnificent self,
Connect with me!! I’d love to hear from you.