It’s the most wonderful time of year!

And . . . it’s also the busiest. In between family and friends coming and going, shopping and cooking, gift buying and wrapping—and the host of other commitments that often come up during this time of year—it can be difficult to get through the holiday season without at least some level of increased stress.

But while it might seem challenging to keep the sense of overwhelm at bay, it certainly is possible. After all, it’s the season of joy—and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a happy and enjoyable holiday season. With a little planning and preparation you can not only survive the holidays but fully enjoy them as well!

With Christmas just around the corner, now’s the time to start planning. Here are a few tips to help you truly enjoy the busiest time of year.

1. Be Alright Without Perfection

When it comes to holidays, striving for perfection is a slippery slope! While you may be able to achieve it for a time, eventually the stress of constantly attempting to achieve perfection in every facet of your life will drive you to the breaking point. Instead of striving for perfection in every area, consider aiming for ‘good enough’ in some areas and saving ‘excellent’ where it really counts. Reminding yourself of your goals in each task will help to keep you focused, on task, and help you to succumb to the feeling that everything has to be perfect. For example, when decorating the house, ask yourself what your goal is. If it’s to create happy memories for your children, remember that they’ll enjoy the result—even if it’s not perfect. Life isn’t perfect, so embrace the imperfections, sit back, and enjoy!

2. Ask for Help

When it comes to the holidays, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the planning and preparation details but attempting to do everything on your own, often leads to burnout. And by the time the holidays are over, you’re stressed out and frustrated. Instead, consider outsourcing some of those tasks. Aside from assigning chores to the kids, you could outsource some other jobs as well. For example, you may want to consider takeout once a week during the busy season. Or, consider bringing in someone to help with the chores during this time of year. If you’re juggling a personal life and running your own business, consider a temp worker or connecting with a virtual assistant to offload some of those daily tasks that eat into your day.

3. Make a List and Prioritize

Tis the season to prioritize! So make a list of the tasks and jobs that you need to accomplish, and assign deadlines to each one. Use a day planner and jot them down. This will save you from suddenly looking up and realizing that it’s the 23rd, and you still need to do Christmas shopping! Consider arranging your tasks into groups—things that need to get done, things that need to be done quickly, and things that can wait. Prioritizing your tasks will help you stay focused, organized, and less stressed.

4. Take a Breather

In the midst of the chaos of working, cooking, shopping, wrapping, and driving, it’s important that you take a few minutes to recharge. Even a short break or getaway for coffee or lunch will be enough to help you recharge and reconnect. While it may seem counterintuitive when you have a growing to-do list, taking some time to breathe is important—for everyone.

5. Simplify Things

While the holidays are a perfect time to make memories and embrace tradition, this doesn’t mean that you have to say yes to everything, or that you alone have to make everyone’s wildest dreams come true! If you want to attend the parties you have been invited to, then by all means, go! Just don’t feel obligated to attend everything or pressured into keeping every tradition. Why not start a new tradition if there’s something you’d rather do?

If you’re struggling between the demands of a growing to-do list and choosing some time to relax with your friends and family, remember, it shouldn’t be a struggle. The Christmas season is full of joy—so remember to take the time to enjoy the special moments with those who matter most to you.

How do you minimize overwhelm during this time of year? Share with us below!

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