Overwhelmed by the Holidays
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Overwhelmed by the Holidays

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We are in the height of the holiday season.  Do you feel as overwhelmed by all the things that you “should” do, as I do?  You “should” bake cookies for all your neighbors.  Or you “should” take your kids to see the Christmas lights.  You “should” attend the company Christmas party.  And you “should” buy your spouse the gift they wouldn’t buy for themselves.  Of course, you “should” give your kids the perfect Christmas.  You should… You should… And you should.  Are you feeling overwhelmed by the holidays yet?  There’s so much to do and so little time.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the holidays and all that needs to be done by the 24th, as I am, I have 8 great ideas to help you feel a little less overwhelmed so you can enjoy them a little more.  First…

Overwhelmed woman
Feel overwhelmed? Keep reading…

Do a brain dump

Make a list.  I actually like to use individual Post-It Notes and stick them to a poster board.  Write down everything you think you “should” do in the next few weeks, no matter what it is, big or small.  (Let your family participate too, so you know what is important to them, as well.)  Just get it out of your head and onto paper.  Sometimes, just the simple act of releasing all those thoughts from your mind can make you feel a little less overwhelmed. Next…


Prioritize what is important to you and to your family.  Do you have a family tradition of driving around the neighborhood and seeing the lights on Christmas Eve?  Is that as important today as it was when your kids were little?  Or, is it important to bake 30 dozen cookies, when it brings you only frustration and a messy kitchen?  Is it important to host and organize the church’s cookie exchange, or could you pass the reigns to someone else?  Obviously only you can decide which of the items you wrote down during your brain dump are your priorities.  But know this.  You can’t do it all.  So…

Prioritize what’s most important to you

Delegate or Delete if you are overwhelmed by the Holidays

If someone else wants to take over a “should”, let them!  Let them take on the tradition of hosting the dinner after Christmas Eve Service.  Sure.  Maybe it won’t be exactly like you would have done, but that’s okay!  You’ll get a break!  Or if through the process and getting your family’s input, maybe you realize that the traditions that were important when your kids were little people, aren’t so important to them now, it’s okay to let them go and delete them from the “should” list.  After that…

Make a Plan

Make a plan of what you are going to do, when you are going to do it, how it is going to get done, and who needs to be involved.  Planning is half the battle.  If you can make your list, and check it twice, you’ll know what needs to happen when and how you are going to get it all done.  Just remember… there are only 24 hours in a day, and you’ve got to sleep some time.  Next…

Say No

Remember… It is okay to say, “No”.  Say no, to last-minute invites.  No, to other’s expectations of you.  No, to purchasing one more gift for your third cousin, twice removed on your Great Aunt Thelma’s side of the house, who you’ve only met once.  Just Say No!  It is okay.  No one will think less of you, and if they do, so what?  Seriously.  So, along with saying, “No”…

Just Say No
It will be okay

Get rid of the guilt

Get rid of the guilt you place on yourself or by others and set realistic expectations for the holiday season. Let. It. Go.  You don’t need to feel guilty about saying no.  You can’t do it all, no matter who you are.  You are not a superhero.  So, take some time and…

Find time for YOU, if you are overwhelmed by the holidays!

Yes.  This is one thing I believe you “should” add to your list.  Find time for YOU!  Find time for a massage, a bubble bath, or a night out with your girlfriends.  If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else either, and by December 25th, you will have worn yourself so thin you won’t be able to enjoy the true reason for the season.  And lastly…

Allow time for self-care
Allow time for self-care, no matter how busy

Lastly, if you are overwhelmed by the Holidays, Bless someone else

One of the best things I have ever found for making me feel less overwhelmed during the holidays was by blessing someone else.  Whether that was serving dinner at the community Christmas Dinner, purchasing a gift for a child on the mall’s Angel Tree, singing Christmas Carols at the local Retirement Home, or distributing socks and gloves to the homeless, I always walk away feeling more grateful for what I have and less overwhelmed by what is going on around me.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the holidays, and need more assistance, I found this great article written by Dr. Claire Nicogossian.  Not only does she share additional ideas, but she also shares some great information on why women have more stress and feel more overwhelmed during the holidays.  It’s very enlightening.

I hope you’ll step back, take time for yourself, and prioritize your “shoulds” this holiday season.

Here’s to enjoying your holiday season and RESETTING your life!


Organization isn’t about perfection; it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life.” – CHRISTINA SCALISE

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