Disclaimer: I LOVE the holidays. I just don’t like being stressed during them. Here are my 10 tips to reducing the stress and enjoying the holiday season.
1. On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a calendar totally socially free. Oh, the glitz and glamour of the holiday parties and catching up with friends. What Hallmark movies are made of. But man do those events pile up to the point they become a burden. Tip #1, say no to the social events that don’t bring you joy, with people you’re not close to, drinking mediocre wine.
2. On the second day of Christmas, I decided to buy stretchy pants. We’re so hard on ourselves. Go ahead and buy the yoga pants and eat the secret Santa cookies that your friend put in your mailbox today.
Ok I’ll stop with the partridge in a pear tree since I only have 10 tips anyway.
3. Spread the cheer. Give back. Give your time where it matters, share your favorite Christmas memories to brighten someone’s day. Heck, start singing Christmas carols on your next Zoom call (and please invite me). Find just one small way to spread cheer this holiday season.
4. Clear your work calendar (and everyone else’s). Do yourself a favor and cancel meetings for at least one week between now and the end of the year. Find time to decompress, get excited about things to come, and enjoy those around you. Your peers and employees will also thank you (it’s like a free gift!).
5. Give special thanks to those that helped you over the past year. Whether it's your direct reports, certain colleagues, your spouse, don’t let the holidays go by without letting them know how much they mean to you. Showing gratitude is scientifically proven to reduce stress.
6. Order Christmas dinner. Have you ever had a Founding Farmers or Whole Foods meal catered for 10? AMAZING. If you don’t love cooking, it doesn’t bring you joy, or you just don’t have the time, don’t feel bad about taking food out of the container and putting it in Grandma’s porcelain bowl.
7. No one cares if you put out all your Christmas decorations. As I sit here looking at my dining room where Christmas has thrown up, I can tell you from experience that no one cares if every single decoration gets hung. Put the things out that make you happy and put the rest of it away.
8. Ask for help. Get a siter, a friend, a parent, whomever (well, someone you trust) to watch your kids, pets, house and get out and do something for YOU.
9. Plan a getaway. Over the past several years, instead of gifts, my husband and I will give each other a short getaway. A long weekend away around the holidays is a special gift.
10. Do nothing. Forget everything I said above and do nothing. Watch every Christmas movie ever made in your most comfy PJs and enjoy the downtime.
Happy holidays to you and yours! I look forward to what’s ahead and connecting with you on your journey into 2023. Cheers!
WRITTEN BYChristine Cocrane