Minimalism Through The Holidays
Stress, spending money, too many things to do. None of which most of us want, especially around the holidays. Most of it we bring on ourselves though, so if you're looking for less stress during the holidays, take a good hard look in the mirror and start talking. That's the person with control. To get the think tank going, here are five ways to minimize (and reduce your stress) during the holidays:
- Say no. That little word that we aren't always good at using. Say it. Practice. Feel the way it rolls off your tongue. Start saying it randomly. You don't have to do, be, or go to everything.
- Prioritize. I'm old school and still take notes. I like to see things get crossed off the list. My list is shorter, though because I say no more often (see #1) and because I prioritize my time. Time is a valuable commodity and I can't get it back so I want to spend it on things I want to do. Sometimes on things I have to do (hello, mammogram!!) but all for a good reason. If it's not worth it, don't do it.
- Be a giver. Less really is more. Decorations, clutter, stuff you're buying. Turn white elephant parties into gifts for foster children or angel trees. Do holiday dinner at a homeless shelter. Look around at the bounty you have and the lives your bounty of unwanted and unused items could benefit. Holidays are a time of giving not buying. Unload what you don't need.
- Relax. Holidays should be a time of tradition and family, not stress. Learn to relax and enjoy them. Spending time with people you don't see as often, relaxing and enjoying each other. Your stuffed mushrooms are appreciated (very, very appreciated!) but once the necessary "to-do's" are done, relax. Try a late-night bubble bath, light candles, start a fire.....
- Have a no-gift holiday. Give gifts, but of yourself. Coupon books the kids have made to do extra chores, or give a hug are some of my favorite memories. Give them out. The gift of yourself is an act of kindness, a gift of your time and energy. Coffee dates, walks, spending time on the phone, clean someone's house, bring someone dinner. Give of yourself.