De stressing the Holidays: What worked?

The holidays are over and we are taking down the Christmas tree, packing up the boxes of decor and moving on to the new year with fresh vision and perhaps a list of new goals. You may be wanting to leave the holidays until next year.

I want to propose a key element to destress your holiday for next year. That's right, you can take simple steps now that will help next holiday season go smoother.

Take time to reflect on what worked this holiday

Early January is a natural time to reflect on our lives and set intentions and goals for the next year. It is important to reflect on the work you did to destress over this past holiday season. And not just what you want to do differently, reflect on what worked. Celebrate your successes! Write down: 1. What steps you took to destress this holiday 2. What worked 3. In what specific areas did you feel less stress this holiday? 4. What do you want to continue doing next holiday that worked this holiday?

It can be so easy to just focus on what didn't work. It is so important to take time to reflect on what did work.

After you have taken time to reflect on what changes worked, it is time to analyze what changes you hope to make for next holiday. Before you do this step I want to remind you that the process of de stressing, is just that - a process. The goal is not to get it perfect the first or second time. The goal is to listen to our lives and take the steps necessary to adjust where needed. This next part of the process is to look at areas that can be worked on for next year. Write down: 1. What areas of the holiday did you still feel stress? 2. Think through the three areas: time, money and energy. Rate your stress level for each of these 3. Of those areas you felt stress, which ones could you do something about? 4. What is one area you could focus on for next holiday to de stress? (you could have more than one if you wanted) but identify at least one.

You may be thinking, 'I don't have time to do this' or 'I can wait to do this later in the year.' The process of analyzing the holidays can take less than 30 minutes. And even if you only have time to write down one success and one change for next holiday, I promise you will be ahead of the stress curve for next year. If you wait until later in the year you may not remember some of what you learned this holiday. Capture your thoughts on this past holiday while they are fresh. You will not regret it! Reflection is a skill to be learned. At first it may seem like you don't have the time, but I guarantee if you carve out the time and take these small steps of listening to your life, you will begin to see the benefits and it will become a part of the new year you won't want to miss.

I have one final blog post in the de stressing the holidays series, so stay tuned for what to do once you have made your lists!

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