Holiday Stress Prevention Plan


Before you know it, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season will be knocking on the door. The number one complaint I hear from women about the holiday season is the amount of stress they feel to get it all done and to get it all done perfectly. It may seem too early to be thinking about it, but the sooner you implement this plan, the less stressful your holiday season will be.

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now: a perfect holiday does NOT exist. Perfection does not exist! So stop stressing yourself out trying to create it. Stuff happens. Let the pressure for perfection go so you can move on and enjoy the holidays.

Instead create your own version of a beautiful holiday season – one that lines up with your vision, values and time. It will require some thought, preparation and elimination on your part, but the payoff is being able to enjoy a beautiful, stress-free holiday season.

Every year, I use the tried-and-true three steps of my Holiday Stress Prevention Plan to ensure the holiday season has less stress and more enjoyment for my family and me. I know these will work for you because they work for me. Isn’t it time to start enjoying rather than enduring the holiday season?

1. Write it down.

Write down everything you can possibly think of that you would like to do/get done for the holiday season. Get down on paper the things things that keep swirling around in your head and add to your list as you think of things. This could include, but isn’t limited to, decorating, baking, cooking, holiday parties, special events, gift shopping, wrapping, travel, preparing the house for guests, cleaning, etc. This is your Master Holiday List.

2. Determine the purpose.

Look at what you do for the holidays and why. What is the purpose? For instance, if you attend a family gathering each year that you dread because of potentially difficult people, determine why you keep going. Is there a valid reason? By keeping your purpose for being there front and center, you are less likely to be distracted by other stuff.

3. Create a plan.

Take your Master Holiday List and begin prioritizing each item into three categories:

  • must do/non-negotiable
  • would really like to do
  • it’s OK if it doesn’t get done

Start with the must do category and put the date it needs to be done by next to each item. Move on to the other categories from there. Then assign timeframes for each task and put them into your calendar, breaking larger tasks into smaller more manageable steps. Allow a realistic timeframe for completing each task. For items in the third category, take a good look and determine if anything at all needs to be done, and if not eliminate it. This process alone should have you breathing a big sigh of relief.

Now you know you’ve got everything written down, you’ve got your purpose in focus and you’ve got a plan. Don’t you feel better already? Bring on the holidays!