We have a tighter holiday season this year, since Thanksgiving came in the last weekend of the month. That time compression can also mean an increase in stress as we try to shove even more into even less time.
For some of us, it starts Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving, when stores now begin opening at 4 a.m. for those who want to get a jump on bargains and their shopping list. They scan the ads in the Thanksgiving day newspaper, put them in order of the time the stores open, and make their plan of attack: toys here, electronics there, super-specials in a third store. By 9 a.m. they've done more than some of us have done by December 15.
For others, the countdown starts Monday, when we realize it's December 1st -- what? so soon? -- and we have a scant 3 weeks and 3 days to get our holidays in shape. Wow. I'm scaring even myself here.
Tree up and decorated?
Presents bought, wrapped, hidden, or mailed if they need to be?
Lists filled, food purchased, cookies made?
Present for the teacher? Stockings hung?
Office party? Holiday clothes at the dry cleaner? Errands at lunchtime?
Does all this sound familiar?
The reality is, not a lot can be dropped from the holiday task list. So add a few things. Yes, I said add. Add in a little time each day to decompress, to see where you are, to plan, and to calm the creeping anxiety that keeps you awake at night running over the next day in your head.
Add in time to take a bath.
Make time for a manicure.
Read, for just 15 minutes.
Breathe, a little.
Don't feel the need to "have" to do everything the same way every year.
Here's a site with tips on building energy and eliminating stress during this busy time:
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