I’m Candice, and I’m so happy that Laura has let me guest post on Joyful Shimmy!
Getting stressed around this time of year is the easy part—the hard part is eliminating and minimizing that stress in the first place. During the holidays, we all simultaneously juggle family, a significant other, multiple plane rides, not to mention baking and present-buying. Anxiety seems to be unavoidable with these factors, doesn’t it?
I used to dread the upcoming holiday season. In college, I’d travel to see my family and my boyfriend’s family, and now after school, I’m still going back and forth between different places. But over the last few holiday seasons, I’ve made a concerted effort to eliminate the anxiety I was always feeling—December is supposed to a time of celebration and spending time with loved ones.
And one of the best ways I’ve managed my time during the holidays is by staying simple.
- Who are the most important people you want to spend time with? You have a limited amount of time. Simply choose who you can be with right now, and don’t panic over missing the party of your neighbor’s cousin’s grandma.
- Bake simply by choosing your best cookie recipe and making a big batch, freezing the dough, and cooking it when you need to. And don’t offer to host meals if you can’t handle the extra stress.
- Make gift shopping simple. Pick two stores next to each other and buy all of your gifts from there—like Nordstrom and Best Buy. Or, use Amazon to combine packages and shop at any time of day.
- Choose classic, understated holiday decorations that you can put up and take down easily.
- Pay attention to the simple relationships in your life. No overdoing the political debate with grandpa or rehashing past drama with your sister-in-law.
- Stay simple in planning your get-togethers. Make it easy for others to see you and vice-versa. Other people may propose extravagant, over-complicated events, but you can meet for coffee or host a movie night and still spend meaningful time with your friends and family.
And finally, realize that you have a limit on your both your time and emotions. Make your holiday season enjoyable by staying simple and avoiding complication! You’ll thank yourself after New Year’s when you feel energized and ready to tackle your resolutions for 2012.