I have a RADICAL solution to managing holiday stress. I got this brilliant idea when negotiating a meeting at work. When glancing at the agenda, we saw something we didn’t like. It was up to my team to get it off. This was shockingly easy. We asked and they complied.
Now pivot to your to-do list. We all have them. Some moms have bullet journals with amazing hand lettering. I’m a write-on-the-fridge kind of gal with a side of “back of the envelope” with a special affection for gas bills. Of course, if something is really REALLY important, I write it on my hand. This I wouldn’t recommend as everyone will comment on, “What’s that thing on your hand” and it’s really embarrassing when faint remnants of that same list is on your hand the next day (I do shower, I promise).
Sorry, a bit of a detour. So to-do lists are great, right? WRONG. They overwhelm us with their mass proportions and when the items on that list aren’t weighted properly. For example, do you have any of these on your list right now?
1. Holiday cards
2. Gift for Joe Colleague
3. Buy dog food
I have conveniently ordered this according to my personal level of stress-sensitivity. Holiday cards, stressful. Because, well, look at the calendar. Plus, this is time-intensive. Are you labeling or writing names? Using holiday-themed stamps or the American flag stamps you bought for a Fourth of July gathering that never got off the ground? In fact, every time I SEE number one on the fridge, part of my holiday spirit dies a little. Then there’s the gift for your supportive colleague Joe. He got you a Starbucks gift card and now you feel obliged. Generally, obligations don’t feel good. Finally, the family pet must be fed. A relatively easy fix, but you just WENT to the store, and WHY can’t you remember anything?!?
Now go to your list. Reorder it according to your anxiety/stress/holiday krazyiness levels. Now take the most labor intensive, stressful item and immediately REMOVE IT FROM THE AGENDA. You aren’t crossing it off. That’s cheating and doesn’t feel good. You are simply removing something that doesn’t belong. Something that, in a fit of holiday insanity, you decided was “on” the docket for action. But there doesn’t have to be any action. The world won’t stop spinning. So kill the guilt, take out your magic marker and re-write your list without the offending item.
So any remaining holiday cards? Nixed. Everyone that got them, got them. Everyone else can throw yours into the recycling bin next year. As for Joe Colleague? Nada. One less gift to give someone, one less to receive. It’s the breaks, I’m afraid. But honestly, isn’t a better gift to be a kind and supportive colleague? Wow, that costs nothing!
Finally, let’s address Fido’s. You should, like, buy that dog food. What are you, an animal?!