This time of year I hear a lot of stress-related concerns from my clients. In large part, they center around not having enough time to “get it all done.” This gives me the perfect opportunity to have the conversation about what “it all” is and if everything that falls under the “it all” category is bringing joy to the holiday season or just layering on undue stress.
I encourage my clients to check in with themselves, review their priorities, and give themselves the most precious of all gifts . . . time! Here are some great places to start:
- Holiday gatherings. If you feel more stress than joy about attending a holiday event, maybe the answer to the invitation should be “thank you for inviting us, but we just can’t make it this year.” You don’t need to go into a long explanation about why, simply responding that you can’t make it is sufficient.
- De-stress holiday baking. It’s amazing to me how much stress people put on themselves when it comes to holiday baking. Baking is not my passion, but I love having holiday treats to share with neighbors and friends. Here are two simple and fun ways to take some baking shortcuts.
- Coordinate baking efforts. Have a dessert exchange party where everyone makes several dozen of their favorite recipes and then swap with each other. It’s a super-simple, and super-fun, way to easily get a full assortment of desserts without having to make several different kinds yourself. (Special Note: It helps to specify that the desserts should freeze well.)
- Let the grocery store do some (or all) of the work. It’s amazing what the neighborhood grocery store has on hand these days! From ready-made desserts to cookies you can decorate yourself, let the professionals handle the heavy-lifting of baking so you can spend your time doing things you enjoy more.
- It’s okay to buy gift cards! Unless you absolutely, positively know someone’s perfect size, color, or favorite author, a gift card would probably be a welcome gift. It’s easy to customize the gift by selecting a recipient’s favorite store or Amazon sells gift cards from $.50 – $2,000. And what can’t you buy on Amazon these days?
The holidays are meant to be joyful and fun . . . for everyone. I encourage you to take a step back, let go of some of the holiday guilt, and use a few shortcuts to give yourself the gift of time. You deserve it!