I love the word Chillax!
A hybrid of the words “chill” and “relax,” it basically means calm down! Okay, are you laughing and saying:
What is she talking about?!
Yes, I know, I know … the holidays can be stressful, but there are ways to reduce that stress and still be productive.
For example, you might try to get one harder task out of the way and then reward yourself when you’ve completed it. So, if you’ve spent the greater part of a day (or two) decorating your tree, you can feel good knowing that you’ve crossed something off your list.
… and, you can reward yourself by getting a massage to ease the muscles you may have strained by reaching up high and bending down low.
But, that’s not all you can do when faced with the pressures of the holiday season.
How to Destress & Be Productive During the Holidays
Of course, there are other holiday tasks that can create stress. And, the good news is that there’s a way to melt that stress away so you can enjoy the season. Read on to learn how you can tackle the trickiest of holiday tasks to keep your stress levels low and holiday spirits high.
1. Holiday Shopping
Task: Shop at the mall for presents.
Stress Trigger: Just finding a parking spot can be nearly impossible!
Stress Reducer: Make a list of stores you will go to and what you will buy at each.
Reward: Head home to walk or play with your pet. Or, or if you don’t have a pet, visit to your local animal shelter. Shelters are always looking for volunteers to come in and give their animals some loving. Plus, petting an animal can do wonders for your mood!
2. Gift Wrapping
Task: Wrap many, many gifts.
Stress Trigger: Paper cuts, sticky tape, and awkward shaped items … oh my!
Stress Reducer: Many stores offer gift wrapping services. Next time you’re out shopping, consider visiting the store’s gift wrapping station. While they’re being wrapped, you can grab yourself a cup of java or hot chocolate.
Reward: If you choose to wrap your own gifts, enjoy a treat! Pop some cookies in the oven before you start and use the simple slice and bake kind. Eat one after you wrap each gift … on second thought, maybe grab a treat after wrapping more than just one gift, or else you’ll get yourself sick!
3. Preparing for Guests
Task: Organize the guest room.
Stress Trigger: Taking all those things off of the catchall spot, a.k.a. the bed!
Stress Reducer: Each time you walk by the guest room, take something out that doesn’t belong. And, take 15 minutes each day to clear and put away (in the proper place) things that have been living on the guest bed. Little by little, you’ll get it done!
Reward: Bring in a magazine or book with you at the start and lock the door. When you’re finished with your 15 minutes of clearing and organizing, flip through your magazine or read a chapter of your book. If your family comes knocking, tell them you are still working! They’ll be relieved that you didn’t request their help, and you’ll be happy to get some quiet time to yourself!
Other Ways to Reduce Stress and Get Stuff Done
The holidays don’t have to be stressful even though there’s usually lots to get done. Remember, you can also bypass these harder tasks by getting some help!
1. Get help. Call in the troops! There are likely several people who would love to help you decorate your tree or home, enjoy wrapping gifts with you, and even assist with organizing your guest room!
Think about reaching out to people that you tend to interact with regularly. And, don’t forget to contact people in groups that you participate in, like:
- Online communities (with local peeps in the area) on Facebook or Google+
- Houses of worship and religious congregations
- Volunteer associations
2. Shop locally. As for shopping, make it easier on yourself by thinking local.
- When you shop in local establishments, you probably won’t have to travel very far! That can mean less driving, less traffic to deal with, and quicker trips to the stores.
- You’re also likely to be supporting the mom and pop shops in your surrounding neighborhoods when you shop locally. Think of your friends and acquaintances that own small businesses offering goods or services. Why not buy gift cards and gift certificates from them? You can also suggest them to your other friends and family as a resource for gift giving. You never know — you may even get rewarded for passing their name along to others!
Now that you’re armed with these tips, here’s to you! Have a happy and healthy — and stress-free — holiday season! As for me, I’m going to chillax now. 😉
Naomi is a professional organizer who lives with her cat, Pumpkin. She enjoys working on mosaic projects and looking for bargains at flea markets in her spare time.