Lowered Stress This Season

Posted by Connie on Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 at 2:58 pm and is filed under Family Life, Healthy or Not, Loving Life.
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I’ve been working at keeping my stress levels low this Christmas season so that I don’t end up getting sick like I usually do around this time of year. I’ve devised a system that’s been working for me. I want to pass on a few pointers in the hopes that you will gain from my experiences.

  1. Writing Lists for everything. I began to keep lists back in mid-November. It started with my Thanksgiving plans and continued from there. I have gift lists, budgets for gifts, food lists including what meals will be made and the ingredients needed, Christmas card lists, etc. If there’s something that I need to remember, I’m writing it down.
  2. Staying Organized – All those lists go into a special file along with a calendar. I’ve transferred this info onto my online calendar too. Every piece of mail that comes into my house is opened by the trash can. If it doesn’t have sensitive information, in it goes. If it does, it’s shredded. My daughter can’t leave anything lying around any more. Everything is in its place.
  3. Finances – We are spending less and doing more. Even though there seems to be less hours in a day now, volunteer time is our way of giving back. We are doing as much as possible as a family to keep it fun. We are sticking to our budget too on presents and food. Don’t forget the food, it adds up quickly!
  4. My Outlook – I have a tendency to get down around the holidays due to family members’ losses.  To add to it, this year is the first year I will be without my daughter, who now lives in Kansas. I knew this would make it even more difficult for me.  I listen to  Christmas music, try to be around other people as much as I can, read books and watch shows that are cheerful, read other people’s blogs, look for the humorous side of things and try to keep a smile on my face.
  5. Decorations – We have always decorated our home for Christmas. We go overboard.  This year we aren’t holding back at all. We are taking every decoration we have and using it. It’s been fun looking at some things we haven’t seen in years.

I’d love to hear what you are doing to relieve stress this season. Or is it difficult for you and you’re having problems getting through it all? I hope not, but we can “talk” about it here and share.

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  1. You have a lot of good ideas. Thanks for sharing. I am going to try out several of them in my life to see if I can get organized. I started a blog before Thanksgiving about things that I am thankful for, and update it everyday. It has helped me to have a much more postive attitude. Thanks again for the tips.

    Deb’s last blog post..Starting 2 Sell Charity Auction

    comment by Deb — December 9, 2008 @ 6:04 pm
  2. Deb, I’m really working at it this year. I want to enjoy the holidays not be sick “)

    comment by Connie — December 9, 2008 @ 8:40 pm
  3. Hi Connie, Great tips. Yes, lists, lists, lists. Since short term memories probs of CFS can’t live without them and especialy at this time of year. I too have a holiday notebook for keeping track of gifts bought for whom and amounts spent etc…

    Love your rule Connie. Daughters “can’t leave anything lying around anymore”. Need to instill that one yesterday!

    Think your family volunteering their time is wonderful. We are doing things differently so far this year, happening on it’s own. We have gone over the top too (for us) decorating the house, without spending money. We have already watched many holiday movies and I’ve filled our netflix que with more.
    We are downloading new Christmas tunes on our ipod. I am feeling more relaxed about gift buying then ever have, I think because of the economy and the limits (and limits on expectations) it sets.

    I think the financial hardships though devastating for those in the midst of the worst (foreclosure etc), are truly returning us to the joy of the most basic, enjoying the simple things together.

    Awesome topic and tips–Kerry

    Kerry’s last blog post..Buttermints and Baby Food

    comment by Kerry — December 9, 2008 @ 10:40 pm
  4. Kerry, you are more than prepared I’d say! Keep on enjoying life and all it brings us.

    comment by Connie — December 9, 2008 @ 10:51 pm
  5. Thanks for sharing your tips. I am always looking for more tips to stay less stressed especially over the holiday season. I have four kids and for me it is always a stressful time. I often have a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit I am going to borrow your Outlook it looks like it will help get me more in the spirit this year. Thank you again for sharing.

    Tamara Wilson’s last blog post..6 Tips For Planning a Christmas Dinner Party

    comment by Tamara Wilson — December 9, 2008 @ 11:12 pm
  6. I like all of your ideas but the Outlook one is the best – because it affects everything else you’re mentioning plus your health, how effective you are and on and on. There’s nothing else to say – I’d just like to congratulate you from the bottom of my heart for sticking to a plan like this! :)

    daria369’s last blog post..First scrapbook of an event available

    comment by daria369 — December 10, 2008 @ 12:58 am
  7. Maybe for the first time in my life I find myself not stressing out because of the holidays and everything else. Actually, my son told me that this was the first Thanksgiving that I haven’t yelled at him because of being over-stressed… It made me feel ashamed of myself and at the same time proud of him for being so understanding. :)

    daria369’s last blog post..First scrapbook of an event available

    comment by daria369 — December 10, 2008 @ 1:02 am
  8. Have you ever heard of the the Flylady? Her website is just wonderful and she has a plan for getting through the holidays, everything from decorating, cards, cooking, traveling and it helps to keep me organized. Her website is free and it is at I also think your point about Outlook is so important, I wrote a post about learning more from the things that challenge us than from the easy things. Good for you! Great tips and an important conversation,

    Maureen’s last blog post..Superior Scribbler Award

    comment by Maureen — December 12, 2008 @ 10:39 pm

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