It is so easy, especially this time of the year, to find ourselves feeling anxious, over-extended, and overwhelmed with everything we have to do:

the stress of the upcoming holiday season

vacation planning, our children’s holidays schedules, and work calendar coordinating

emotional and financial overwhelm

family holiday celebration planning

Often, without even being aware of it, these mounting tasks and demands can begin to increase in intensity and take away from our enjoyment of what can be the most wonderful time of the year.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, and in fact, there are a few things you can do right now to help ease your mind and gain greater control over your life as we enter this holiday season.

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Refresh your time management and planning routine

By the time most of us reach November we have relaxed our time management discipline and in some ways have given up on the remainder of the year, instead committing to pick things up again in 2015.  Unfortunately, this is the time of the year when we most need strong time management and planning routines.

The best way to reduce your overwhelm and anxiety is to get it out of your head and onto paper in a way that gives you a clear map of what to do and when to do it.    I have created a Weekly Brain Dump and Time Management Prep worksheet to assist you in getting your overwhelm on paper so that you can plan your time accordingly.  Click here for your downloadable worksheet!

Once you have completed the worksheet for the week, take each task and commitment, and schedule it into your weekly calendar/planner; including your self-care and all other activities that require a devotion of your time.

Create an extreme self-care plan for the remainder of the year

The self-care section of the Weekly Brain Dump and Time Management Prep worksheet is just the beginning of the plan you need to create for yourself during this time.  Have you heard of putting your oxygen mask first?  This time of the year is no different.  If you hope to enjoy the holiday season in a way that allows you to feel calm, confident, joyous and dare I say happy, you will need to take care of yourself in every way.

This is the time to plan for extreme self-care of your mind, body and soul.  Whether it is a consistent schedule at the gym, yoga classes, daily meditation or simply reliably scheduled time for rest, relaxation and reading; it is critical that you schedule this time into your daily, weekly and monthly calendar.  It is also imperative that you commit to it in the same way that you do for your children, partner and family. 

Set a 5/2 healthy eating intention

We are all aware that eating over the holidays is a source of great joy and great frustration.   Knowing that there will be far more opportunities for overeating and drinking, you can plan for the added celebrations and temptations. 

Committing to a 5/2 healthy eating intention means planning to eat clean and healthy Monday through Friday and allow for more lenient eating on the weekends and during holiday gatherings.  Staying grounded in healthy eating during the week will allow you to feel better physically and therefore feel better emotionally.  Click here for a wonderful article on Clean Eating During the Holidays.

Get your holiday budget in place

Financial anxiety is one of the most significant reasons we all feel overwhelmed at this time of the year.  The holidays do not have to cost a lot to achieve the holiday spirit and festivities that you truly desire. 

Take some time now to create a financial budget and plan to navigate the holiday in a way that preserves your control over expenses.   When you give yourself time to create a holiday financial plan, you are also giving yourself an opportunity to be creative and infuse your gift giving with love and meaning.   Click here for great holiday spending tips.

Commit to the desired feelings you want to drive your holiday season

You are in control of the way the rest of the year and your holiday season goes.  Not your children, not your parents, not your Ex, not anyone else….YOU are the one in control.  And despite the crazy holiday marketing frenzy, which has already begun, you get to create a season that reflects exactly how you want to feel.

Before you get swept away by anxiety, overwhelm and an urgent need to do and purchase; carve out some time to get clear on how you want to feel over the next six weeks and the kind of season you want to create for yourself and those you love the most.

Perhaps you want to feel calm,

generous,

peaceful,

joyous,

cozy,

content,

creative,

purpose-filled,

meaningful,

connected, or

grateful.

Once you have identified how you want to feel, these feelings will drive the way in which you plan for and choose to spend your time over the next six weeks.

There are so many ways to express your love for friends and family, it doesn’t always have to look or be store bought. 

And, including your spouse/partner, family, and children in identifying how they want to feel will allow all of you to infuse the holidays with celebrations and gift giving that feels just so good.

Enjoy this time of pre-holiday planning for it will guide you exactly where you want to go.

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