I have to admit the closer we get to the holidays the more stressed out I become, especially now more than ever since the year is coming to an end. There is just so much to do! Last minute holiday shopping, cleaning and decorating the home, cooking for family and friends. How can I find time to do all of this and manage my store, The Bridge Boutique?
Well, I decided to ask some of my friends for tips on how they handle stress during this time of year. Most of my friends had the same advice to give – “Carolyn, breathe and try to relax when you get home”, “meditate” – and some just plain out didn’t have any advice to give. I then decided to turn to my other “friends” – my trusty magazines and blog sites that I read in situations like this.
I decided to read O online (since I couldn’t remember where I placed my magazine), and almost as if Oprah was reading my mind, the first article on their homepage was “Get through the holidays… Stress-Free!” The first thing that popped out to me was this line: “If I have time, I’ll do this and that. If not, I’ll only do that.” A lightbulb went off in my head. I decided to come up with a plan of action. I also wanted to share my tips with all my readers who may be going through the same stressful situations.
First, I wrote down everything that needed to get done right away and things that I could span out until New Year’s. Once I knew everything that needed to get done, I started to plan things around my spare time.
To tackle my list I began with (what I thought was) the simplest task on my to-do list: last minute holiday shopping. I made a list of all the people I still needed to get presents for, what sort of gift they might like, and a budget to abide by. I decided to avoid the stores. This time of the year, stores tend be crowded and lines seem to go on forever! I decided to place orders online, as many online retailers are offering free shipping to ensure orders will be there before Christmas. If you absolutely have to go to the store, call ahead, and ask to see if they have your item in stock; then find out if they may be able to hold it aside for you. This will cut your trip to the store in half and you wont be left searching for an item that may not even be at the store.
Holiday shopping – check!
Next, cleaning and decorating the home. Instead of cleaning and putting everything all up at once, I decided to break things up. For cleaning, I broke up each section of the house and focused on one room at a time. For decorations I did the same except I broke it up by type. Ex: Day 1: Clean kitchen and put up the lights. Day 2: Clean living room and put up the tree. Day 3: Clean bathroom and decorate tree, etc.
Cleaning and decorating the house – check!
Then there’s the cooking. Cooking, I took out my cookbook and looked for easy recipes that didn’t require too much prep or cooking time and bookmarked them. Since I knew family and friends were coming over, I asked them to each bring a small dish. This would cut my cooking time in half and would be great to try a new dish!
Cooking – check!
Next up, events and outfit planning. It may be easy to forget a friend’s party or office event, so I wrote down every event I would be attending, including dates and times. To save me extra time the day of, I planned the outfits I would be wearing to each event and taped the list next to my closet. So all I have to do is look at my list, pull out my outfit and just worry on what lipstick to put on.
Events and outfit planning – check!
These are just a few things on my list and it may be different from yours. We all have different kinds of situations that stress us out. One thing to keep in mind – it’s the holidays! Even though you may not get through your list, know that we all can’t be Wonder Woman or Superman, but we can all make the holidays a little more special by spending it with those that are closest to us.
Have any stress-free tips? Share them below.
P.S. – It’s better to give than to receive! Ming Wang has partnered with NewDay Services for Children & Families to make the holidays special for children and families everywhere. Best of all, Ming Wang is making it super easy to help out – gather all your friends and have them “Like” Ming Wang on Facebook. For every new fan, Ming Wang will donate $1 from now until January 15.