Written by Jennifer Scott
Overstressed? Overworked? Have a to-do list that doesn’t ever seem to end? If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. For most working professionals, this is an ongoing way of life, but add in the holiday factor and your stress index can quickly jump off the charts. In an effort to help ease your stress and give you some breathing room, Graceful Story has gathered a few great tips for how to manage common details and still get through the season with your sanity intact.
Prioritize and Plan
More than anything, this is what will help you manage the ever-growing to-do list. Figure out what is most important to get done, then determine what is least important. By ruthlessly prioritizing, you can weed out the piddly and random tasks that are overcrowding your list. The next step is formulating a plan. Making a plan after you prioritize will give you the outline you need to accomplish your tasks. With your calendar in hand, plot out when you will accomplish said tasks. Once you have your plan written down, add it to the calendar on your smartphone; then you have all your bases covered. Putting a plan in place is crucial to minimizing stress, and it will enable you to be more prepared if anything goes awry.
Outsource Your Errands
Through technology and modern conveniences, there are more and more ways to find someone who can help you manage your list of errands. No time to go shopping for work clothes? Try StitchFix and a personal stylist will send you clothes that match your online profile. No time to go to the grocery store? Many stores allow you to order your groceries online and pick them up at a specified time. Need help walking the dog? Services like Wag! have an abundance of dog walkers to choose from. If you have a task that needs to be done, more than likely there is a service out there that can help. The small fee will always be worth it.
Gifts and Cards
If you carry on the tradition of mailing holiday greeting cards, it’s likely that your card list is pretty long. Spending time to write a thoughtful note to each person on your list is a sweet gesture, but it’s a major time suck. Instead, have custom cards made with your personal sentiment pre-printed inside. The unique cards will please recipients and save you time in the process. Once the cards have arrived, you may even want to recruit your kids to help address the envelopes for an added cute and personal touch.
Holiday gifts are another tough nut to crack. You want to give meaningful and thoughtful gifts, but you just don’t always have the time to shop. Enter the beloved gift card. To many people, this is a gesture with little thought, but for people on the receiving end, this can be a really great gift. It’s the gift of choice! With thousands of cards to choose from, you can easily minimize your shopping stress. And remember, the holidays come every single year. So if you slack off a little this year, you can always have a do-over next year. Or the year after.
Our culture places so much emphasis on accomplishments that it takes some conscious effort to remember that we also need to step back and engage in a bit of self-care once in a while. It isn’t a waste; in fact, it’s a great investment in our own future! Self-care can take a number of forms, from healthy eating to exercise. For those struggling with motivation with the latter, pick up some earbuds and try including some pulse-pounding music while you work out. Your body — and mind — will thank you.
You Can Say “No”
Our time is one of the most valuable and one of the most fleeting parts of life. This makes it even more important to avoid overcommitting yourself. It is absolutely okay to set limits, particularly when you are a working professional, and especially during the holidays. People really do understand this more than we realize. It’s just not possible to go to every gathering or every party. By saying “no,” you are taking more control over how your time is spent, which in turn minimizes stress and gives you and your calendar more breathing room.
During this holiday season, be sure you put a plan together, outsource the jobs you don’t have time for, simplify your gift giving, and say “no” to avoid overcommitting yourself. By incorporating some of the ideas here, you can reduce stress during one of the busiest times of the year.
Dear reader, you may like also this: