The words "holiday season" and "holiday stress" can often be seamlessly interchanged right about now. And although there may not be a cure-all for a stress free and relaxing season, there are a few simple things we can do so it doesn't get the best of us.
Schedule It Out. I always find that writing things down helps clear the incessant list making in my mind. Also, try to set a timed schedule each day or week for holiday doings so it doesn't just constantly keep taking up thought or energy.
Let The Little Things Lie. When making your to-do list, rate the items on it in order of importance from one to five. All the things that get ones and maybe even twos that you would really like to get done but that aren't gonna make or break it — just look at them as 'icing on the cake' and not 'well, if I can just get one more thing in'.
Delegate What You Can. Giving up control and/or asking for help isn't always the easiest thing to do, but it can be monumental. Try to see when an opportunity may arise that someone can 'scratch your back'. Just remember to scratch theirs back. You could get together a group of friends to keep each other in the loop as to where they might be running errands for the next few weeks. Maybe a friend can pick up that loaf of bread you need at the bakery when they're there, and you can grab them a pie at the local shop that you'll be going to later that week.
Breathe Through It. When all else fails, remember to take a deep breath. If you find yourself hitting your high stress level, then take a few steps back and remember the other years that you have gotten through the holidays and it all worked out. It definitely isn't the end of the world if it all doesn't end up exactly how you imagined.
Remember You Count, Too. And last but certainly not least: remember that you count too. Please don't forget about yourself amongst all the hustle and bustle of making everyone else's life special. When you are out shopping or at home cooking, take some time to thank yourself for a job well done. Whether it's a little gift that you've been eyeing for yourself, or a massage, or a nice bubble bath, or a glass of wine at the end of the night, make sure you acknowledge all that you're doing for others. You deserve it.