De-Clutter The Holiday

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Why has the most wonderful time of the year become the most stressful time of the year?

Kim arrived for our meeting with obvious signs of stress. The pressures of year-end closing and her pending perfomance review made her look exhausted. As I tried to turn the conversation to something lighter I said, “Well, at least you can look forward to the holidays.”  She replied, “Oh, don’t’ remind me. This is another cause of stress; my husband often says we need a holiday from the holidays.”

Life is like a snowball.  As it rolls on its merry way it picks up more and more stuff. What starts out as good and fun becomes burdensome and stressful. Holiday traditions and gifts, become duties, chores. Why? It may be impossible to totally stop the world and hide from all holiday obligations, but you can de-clutter and simplify the holidays bringing back their intended place of rest, joy and family love.


Here are some tips that you can adapt as you make your holiday plans:

  • De-clutter your choices.Too many options and choices burden the brain. Simplify:
    • Reduce your gift-giving budget.
    • Limit your shopping options to only one department store.
    • Give identical gifts to several people. The simpler the gift, the more likely it will apply to a broader group of people.
    • Donate to charities in honor of your important people. This can apply to the majority of adults on your gift list and bring greater value than most will ever receive from a store bought present.
  • Focus on core traditions.
    • Examine your values and align your traditions with your core values.  Habits, unchecked, grow to become traditions. Not all habits are equal or wise. Never start a tradition without giving up another.
    • Prioritize traditions on the basis of the impact they are likely to have on your most important people.
    • Transform meaningful traditions into simple activities that replenish emotional and love banks rather than drain you leaving you and others tired and emotionally exhausted.
  • Give the gift of time83%of those surveyed said they wished they had more time with family.  We cherish a good, relaxed time and simple communication with family, loved ones, and close friends.
    • Reduce your guest list. Most people feel attending parties is an obligation and would rather spend time with their families or rest from the fast paced lives.
    • Decline invitations. Most of what you perceive as an obligation can be easily renegotiated and deferred to a more relaxed time of the year.
    • Invite small groups of friends to a SIMPLE, RELAXED cup of tea with store bought cookies around the fireplace.
    • Agree with friends to go to a concert or a group hike followed with a hot chocolate and store bought muffins around the fireplace.
    • Avoid stressful topics and problem solving family meetings. You have a whole year to do this.
  • Give yourself, time:
    • Time to sleep and rest
    • Time to put your feet up, read a book, listen to your favorite music, or just plain do nothing for a change
    • Time to count your blessings. Don’t just think of them; write them down so your eyes can see them.
    • Time to evaluate and prioritize your values
    • Time to dream and have hopes and visions of brighter days ahead
    • Time to consider what objectives can make your dreams a reality
    • Time to set goals to help you grow

Time to make commitments that can focus your purpose driven life so you can be the best you can be without burning out.

Prepare, prepare for what really counts. Peace, joy, and goodwill.

Note: Would you like to join us on the Road to Overcoming Overload?