On your mark… Get set…

… GO

The race to the holidays has officially started. After surviving Black Friday and Cyber Monday it is now time to the countdown to Christmas.

I don’t think that it really matter whether you are a Christian or not. In North America, we are inundated with the Spirit of the Holidays. Anywhere we go from now on, we will hear the music, see the decorations and we will be tempted to shop until we drop.

This is also one of the most stressful time of the year. There are so many expectations for us to partake into this frenzy of buying, gifting and receiving. And let’s not forget attending parties, receptions, dinners, and hosting events too. People are running around all month long trying to get everything done before the sound of midnight on December 24th.

Here are a few good tips to consider to help you alleviate stress.

Tip 1. Shop so you don’t drop. Start your shopping in the first week of December. Take a morning off and hit the shops. This way you will skip the frenzy and the crowd. The stores are not really busy at this time and you will be able to get all that you need in one go.

Tip 2. You don’t have to do everything. Make a priority list. Start by making a list of the events you either have to or want to attend and prioritize. Don’t forget to add some time off for yourself too. Schedule some downtime and relax. It could be a morning walk in the park and a quiet lunch with your loved one or soaking in a nice relaxing Epson Salt & essential oil bath.

Tip 3. Lowering your expectations. Things don’t have to be exactly how you have planned them to be. Expect some irritations and imperfections, then relax and have a good time in spite of them.

Tip 4. Don’t do it alone. (Part 1) It’s ok to delegate and ask for help. If you have kids, it might be better not to take them to the mall with you. Ask a friend to invite them for a play time so that you can be more efficient while shopping or doing other errands.

Tip 5. Don’t do it alone. (Part 2) The holidays are also a time where people feel lonely and depression sets in. Get proactive by connecting with family, friends, even others who face similar isolation. Reach out to others and create your own gathering of single people.

Tip 6. Give the gift money can’t buy. Give the gift of time and help others in needs, Find a Soup Kitchen or a Mission and donate your time to those who have nothing. The greatest pleasure comes from giving back and it will make you feel good to donate your time. There are also people in hospitals whom don’t have many visitors and I am sure they would appreciate a short visit. Reach out to your local hospital and register to become a volunteer.

I hope these tips will help you go through the holiday seasons with ease and serenity.

Have an amazing week.

Until next time… Be kind to one another.