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This Christmas, follow three simple ways to avoid unnecessary holiday stress.

Do you have a tendency to put unnecessary “holiday stress” on yourself? Do you often over-commit to more holiday-related activities than you have time and energy for? Or do you just not have the Christmas spirit this year, to do all the festivities that everyone else seems to enjoy? 

The list of holiday “to-dos” can feel overwhelming – everything from family traditions, to invitations accepted, to the things we feel we’re supposed to do this time of year. Not to mention, stress can build even further with traveling, visiting family, having family visit us, getting sick, taking care of sick ones, etc.

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Is it easy to overlook the true meaning of Christmas, if we’re so stressed out? Yes, absolutely!

Then it’s important to consider ways that you can simplify things for the holidays. Otherwise, you may experience burn-out before Christmas even arrives or resentment that you aren’t enjoying the season.

Please hear me out: don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to make everything perfect, to say “yes” to every invitation, or feel like you have to do what everyone else is doing. I believe that you can still experience the joy and peace of the season by taking easy-street, guilt-free.

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Before I give you some easy-peasy tangible tips that you can begin today – I want you to be mindful of a few things.

1. The Comparison-Trap

First of all, we need to stay out of the comparison-trap.

Do you ever envy someone who seems to have it all together, and wish your life was that easy to manage? Well, the truth is, everyone has their own struggles. Most people are just really good at hiding it.

When you realize that you’re not the only one who is behind on things, or has completely skipped something all-together, it changes the lens that you’re looking through.

As moms, we’re all fighting our own battles, of all different sizes. Having empathy for others helps shift your perspective from envy to compassion.

2. Lower Your Standards

Second, we need to lower our standards.

Do you ever try to keep up with what your idea of the perfect holiday looks like? That can be so exhausting if you don’t have the energy for it. And it can be so frustrating if you don’t have the time to do it all.

Instead of striving for perfection, strive for simplicity.  It’s so much easier to experience peace and joy when you aren’t depleting your energy and consuming all of your time.

Accept that you can’t do it all this year, and embrace the peace and joy that comes with the permission to give yourself a break.

3. Set Boundaries

And last but not least, we need to get comfortable saying no.

Do you feel the need to accept every invitation? Or do you feel bad about letting people down or disappointing them, to the point of saying yes even when you want to say “no thank you”. Sometimes, that can backfire.

If we are saying yes to everything, then we are usually saying no to something else, just as important. Are you saying “no” to some much-needed alone time, husband time, or family time?

It’s important to find a good balance, and know that you can’t do it all. Think about your priorities, and plan your holidays accordingly.

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Here are 3 Simple Ways to Avoid Unnecessary Stress this Christmas

1. Simple Christmas Cards

Are you starting to receive Christmas cards in the mail, only to realize that you haven’t ordered any personalized cards to send out yet? Did you plan on having a family photo card but missed the time window to order them, or not get around to having the photo taken in the first place? 

Consider sending out stock Christmas cards this year. The person or family receiving your card will still appreciate it. Or, you can even send out a “Happy New Year” card instead. Your unique card will stand out in a nice way.

2. Simple Gift Wrapping

If you still have unwrapped gifts that need wrapping, try simple gift wrapping. As much as you may be tempted and perhaps even feel obligated to have beautifully-wrapped presents under your Christmas tree, it can be very time-consuming. 

Consider using gift bags and tissue paper instead of wrapping paper and ribbon. Gift bags come in all sizes, and it’s so much easier to slip a gift into a bag than to wrap it up in paper.

3. Simple Planning

Do you have a lot of things to get done and errands to run? Whether you’re planning to host a party, or you’re making arrangements to attend a party, or you have other important plans – it’s important to have a simple plan in place. The sooner you start simple planning, the less stress you’ll feel as a result. 

Write out your to-do list, from most urgent to least important, and complete your list in that order. That way if you run out of time, you don’t have to worry about the unimportant things.

The busy holiday season doesn’t have to be stressful. Keep everything simple – as much as possible, to help avoid unnecessary stress. The more you can prevent holiday stress, the more you’ll be able to embrace the true meaning of Christmas.

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Crystal Tharp

Crystal Tharp

Crystal is the owner of The Organized Home, LLC and producer of The Home Approach® program and The Purpose-Driven Productivity Program®; empowering busy Christian women to create an organized home that they love, so they can thrive at home. With over ten years of combined experience working in the Professional Organizing industry and coaching industry, she combines her expertise in decluttering, organizing, and home management with her passion for helping women to bring out the best in themselves.

While coaching is her God-given calling, she also loves being a mom to her young children (ages 5, 7 and 9), date nights with her husband, and family outings on the weekends. Above all, she is most passionate about following Jesus and inspiring others to do the same.

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