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How to Beat Holiday Stress

Everyone knows the holidays should be a time of joy and togetherness, of peace and love, but it’s hard to love the holidays when it just feels like one big to-do list. Here are six tips to make the holidays a happier, less stressful time:

1. Get organized. Think about the things you really need and want to do. Prioritize, make lists, and make a schedule. What gets done gets done, but if you’re organized and have prioritized everything, then you are much more likely to get the really important things done.

2. Simplify and streamline. Adjust your expectations and try to focus on the things that are really important and jettison the rest. Think quality over quantity. Maybe get the same gift for everyone or cut the list back a bit. Do you really need to do everything you think you do? Try to do with less.

3. Delegate. You don’t have to do everything. Get your spouse or family members to share the workload, and then make peace with the results.

4. Take time to look around. Literally. Stop what you are doing and look at the decorations and the pretty lights. Listen to holiday music. Window shop. Go to church or temple. Do something holiday-ish, like take the kids for a drive around town to see the lights. Take the time to enjoy the beauty of the season.

5. Keep it simple at work, and remember the rules: don’t buy your boss a gift (unless you pull her name in the Secret Santa), keep the holiday displays at home, don’t get drunk at the office party, etc. Speaking of the office party, remember that even though it is a social event, it is still work, so be on your best behavior. It’s a great opportunity to socialize, network, and develop relationships.

6. Be good to yourself. Remember to take care of yourself this time of year. In addition to the stresses of the season, colds and flu are likely going around too, so be sure to take good care of yourself. And maybe even get yourself a little something. You deserve it!

Good luck, and happy holidays!

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