For many, the holidays are supposed to be a wonderful time of year – a time of connecting with loved ones, of spending quiet time in reflection, and for those who are religious, a time for celebrating various aspects of their faith. Yet, the holidays can also be a time of anxiety, stress, and of moving away from what we truly want in life, rather than closer to it. From braving crowded shopping malls, to trying to make the perfect meal, to having a beautifully decorated home, sometimes we can feel overwhelmed just by the thought that the holidays are approaching. We often forget our priorities and forget to commit to ourselves first during the holidays.
Prioritizing modern life is a difficult task, and the holidays sometimes make this task seem impossible. It’s hard enough to find the time in your daily life to exercise, read for pleasure, and simply spend time with your friends and family. When the holidays loom, the to-do list is already too long, but we keep adding to that list anyway. We often do the things we think we should be doing, rather than the things that bring us joy and fulfillment in life. For some, it’s enough to simply not want to participate in the holidays at all.
As stressful as they may be, the holidays are unavoidable (unless you want to run away from all friends and family during this time, which isn’t really feasible). Because of the inevitability of having to deal with this time of year, having a plan to stay organized will help you navigate the sometimes crooked paths of life during this time. But having a plan is not enough – you need to commit to that plan, make time for it, and ensure it happens. Here are some tips to help you stay organized during this holiday season.
Re-commit to yourself, your beliefs, and your goals
It’s easier to stay organized and to prevent feelings of overwhelm if you know your priorities. Making a commitment to taking care of yourself first is not selfish – as a matter of fact, it can greatly strengthen relationships. Remember that if you do not care for yourself, it is very difficult to care for others. Therefore, if something brings you stress this holiday season, it’s best to reconsider whether that something is worthy of your time.
Consider what is really needed.
Do you hate putting up Christmas lights, but still do it every year? Consider why you’re putting them up. If it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t do it. If you hate decorating, yet do it anyway, who are you doing it for? If putting up decorations is a source of stress and you don’t enjoy it, simply don’t do it. Use that time to re-connect with your loved ones instead. Use this thought process for any other to-do items on your holiday list.
Focus on what matters
For some, the holiday season means making more time for family and reconnecting with loved ones. For others, the holiday has a deep spiritual meaning. Whatever the holidays mean for you, always ask yourself if the task on your to do list will help you get closer to honouring that meaning. If not, set that task aside and move on.
How do you stay organized during the holiday season?