The holiday season is upon us. How is the holiday season for you? For me, it’s a time to take time out for myself and spend time with family and friends.
I also take this time to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the new year and all the opportunities it will bring. I believe that no matter your religious belief, the holidays are a great time for reflection, gratitude, and rejuvenation.
Nevertheless, the holiday season can be busy, frantic and chaotic to say the least and for that reason, I thought I would give you some quick tips on how you can keep calm during this time of the year. You may still have time to implement some of these and the others you can bear in mind for the future.
The gift-giving aspect of the holidays can put you under a lot of pressure to spend more than you can afford or have budgeted for. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Firstly, know how much you can realistically spend without feeling the financial pinch or strain. Your list should include how much you will spend on gift giving, entertaining and being entertained. Make the list as detailed as possible and budget for things such as how much you can spend on gifts, Christmas dinner, travel to and from functions, new clothing, makeup, getting your hair styled etc.
You can save money by making your own gifts. Get your Martha Stewart on!! People love receiving handcrafted gifts that are made with love. And remember, satisfaction is in the giving as well as the receiving.
The holidays also equal sales and the sales can be a great time to snag that item you want at a reduced price. However, do not go crazy and be tempted to buy what you do not need just because it is reduced. I can relate to this, in the past I have bought clothing and shoes I liked but did not need just because it was reduced. They ended up staying in my wardrobe with the price tag on for a few years before I finally sent them on their merry way to the local charity shop. With financial education, I learned that the last thing I needed to be doing was spending money on stuff and getting into financial difficulties buying things I really did not need.
Don’t Do Too Much
Have the past few weeks been a test of your organisational skills as you plan with precision the events, gifts, menus, travel itinerary and seating plans?
The holidays can be full on. You may find yourself moving from one activity to the other and then another or juggling many things at once. This can take a toll on your energy as well as your stress levels.
With all the demands on you, it is easy to forget that you are actually in control of what you do or do not do. I really trimmed down my todo list this year. I have been known for delivering a large spread that is fit for a banquet on Xmas day. But not this year, This year my lovely Brother and Sister-in-law are hosting the family on Christmas Day. Thankfully this helps me a lot, I so that I am standing for too long in the kitchen preparing and cooking dinner as this does affect my back. And those of you who are connected with me on social media may have seen that I had a recent flare-up with my ongoing back issues and am currently receiving physiotherapy.
If you have a lot to do it’s not too late to arrange for assistance with your preparations too it is a great way of taking the pressure off and allows others to feel valued by contributing.
As women, we can have the tendency to do too much and do not factor in enough time for rest and recuperation. If you haven’t already, Why not schedule in some time for that over the holidays. Take some time to be still. It’s becoming a known tradition in my family that I take Boxing Day out to rest, rest and rest.
Even if you can’t manage a full day of rest. Take some time out in your day, go for a walk or find a quiet place for some deep breathing, meditation, yoga, watch a movie or read.
This is a great time to connect with family. Both near and far. For most this is a very peaceful time. However, many women tell me that for them, family time can be quite challenging, where they feel that you have to spend time with family members who do not understand them or get on their last nerve. This season can be fraught with family drama, a very lonely time for some and even a painful reminder of loved ones that are no longer here.
Remember, that you cannot change anybody and even if you could, just imagine how much of your energy that would use up. However, we can, as difficult as it may seem, control our own attitudes, reactions and behaviour. If we try and approach each situation with love, we can dramatically change the dynamics of a tensed situation. And if things get a stressful take yourself out of it for a while, again you can go for a walk, do some deep breathing or meditation.
I hope these tips are helpful and whatever you do, I wish that you have a wonderful peaceful holiday season.
Thank you for your support this year and I look forward to supporting you more in 2018.
Sonia & Family