It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: How to Maintain Your Sanity in the Holiday Rush

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as Andy Williams would croon. Hard to believe that here we are approaching the next holiday season. I absolutely LOVE Christmas time!

While it’s a season full of blessings and love, it’s also quite the season for stress, hectic calendars, and tight budgets. Along with this, it frequently finds us in a time of overindulging with rich, heavier foods. There’s office parties, Secret Santa tasks, gift shopping, wrapping, friends’ events, cooking, traveling, etc. So, how does one cope? You simply need to find the best ways to keep cool and I’ve composed a list of simple ways to help manage the busy time.

1) Make a list
Instantly, the holiday agendas start piling up. A surefire way to avoid the confusion and overlooking tasks, jot down lists. The first thing my husband and I did was prepare a meal list for Thanksgiving dinner. Right after, we made a list of who we needed to prepare gifts for. And, right after that, we added on what we planned to put as their gift too. Along with it, I drew up a list to keep me on task.

Even at work, I love to create lists these days. I created a document saved on my desktop called my daily planner. I jot down everything, including my daily appointments. However, thanks to a tip from, I put a spot on the agenda to write down five goals for myself for the day. It’s there I put even just a simple task of, “Remember to breathe,” which leads to…

2) Create time to breathe
With all going on in a crazy rush, and the time of nasty bugs going around, it’s very important to take time for ourselves. This is where finding a moment to meditate, veg out, pamper ourselves, or do my favorite workout of yoga comes into play. For me, yoga lets me stop, concentrate on my own breathing and how my body feels. I also find it a time to entirely listen to my own mind as I slow down my breathing.

Stopping to smell the roses, or the Christmas trees in this time, lets us catch up with ourselves. It’s so easy to overlook ourselves as we fulfill so many roles (wife, employee, daughter, mothers, friend, etc.). We need to stop, evaluate ourselves, and relieve some stress. While that is yoga for me, there’s also other ways to do this. Some people read; some take a soak in the bathtub, others just sit with loved ones, maybe a cup of tea. There’s even those who pamper themselves with a spa day at home. I just happen to have one amazing husband who loves to help me pamper myself when I need to. I’ll come home in my busiest time with open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (my busiest season at work where I go nonstop with bearly any time in my day for little things, and it goes right through the holidays) and on some days he’s prepared a nice, hot bath with essential oils and candlelight, a washcloth even waiting to rest on my forehead with lavendar. He’ll even turn on our faux fireplace heater so the flames can soothe me too and has Native American flute music playing gently for me. (Oh, have I mentioned how lucky I am? Or just how much I love this guy?) He just seems to know. Yet, part of how he knows is because of…

3) Communicate with your team

Be realistic with what’s on your “To Do” Plate. Many women, myself included, attempt appearing perfect and like we’re superwoman. Ha! If only! I’m horrible about wanting to seem I have it all together. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know I’m pretty strong and independent and quite capable of taking on a lot. However, I definitely do have limitations and I also can certainly stress myself out on top of that. Sometimes, when I review my lists, I may feel a rush of overwhelming sensations and definitely risk losing my cool a bit.

That’s why we need to realize we can divy up our tasks. Let’s face reality: we need help and asking for help is not making us any less perfect or less strong. In fact, really, knowing our limits and asking for help makes us stronger. The husband and I sit and review pending tasks and ask each other what each one of us can do. We’re honest with one another. Knowing open enrollment was coming for instance, I straight out warned the hubby I needed his help in keeping me aware to take time for me. I also flat out admitted I could be short fused and pretty easily irritable at times over these three months. This way as we enter and go through it, he’s right there with me, picking up what he can to help and vice versa.  I knew he’d be busy with preparing the house for our Thanksgiving feast and cleaning and cooking, so I asked what I could do to chip in as we planned out the menu. I took advantage of my weekend before and started clearing up clutter and shop vacuuming the dog hair all up. He asked me if he could help prep ingredients for my side dishes I’d prepare as I was at work too.

The point is, we work pretty well together as a team. It’s important to divy up tasks and be real with your support team, whomever that is. That way everyone is up to date on what needs to be done and those who can jump in with their tasks and skills and talents can help us carry the load.

4) And, lastly, SMILE:

It is so easy in the holiday rush to grow aggravated with rude drivers or long lines at the stores. I’m guilty of it, too. Even late mail deliveries can cause rising blood pressure and heavy sighs.

Yet, we need to keep in mind that everyone is up to the same thing as us. Many of us share the same frustrations and busy agendas. However, the spirit of the season is the warmth and love for our fellow man. Recalling we’re all in the same boat and all have the same intentions, it allows us to find something to smile about. I know it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to think and look at everyone do their best to buy for their loved ones or get to see them.

Just carry yourself with grace and a touch of warmth no matter what and things start to feel less stressful.

Just go about the season with a little touch of grace and enjoy!

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