The holidays are a happy time but can also be a stressful time for many. With everything that needs to be done you can feel like you’re being pulled in every direction and there’s just not enough of you to go around. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Is your head starting to pound and your heart beat faster? Slow down and take a deep breath! Here are some Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season.

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This post is part of the 31 days of Christmas Ideas series. Click over to the main page to see all of the 31 Christmas posts (they will be added daily).

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Think about what really matters to you and your family and friends. Do you want to keep certain family traditions alive? Do you want to instill a sense of charity and generosity in your children? Do you want visitors to drop by and feel comfortable and welcome? Or do you want to throw one great party? Whatever your goal is, you need to write it down and create a plan.

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Here are some tips that help me focus and be able to enjoy the holiday season:

1. Make a timeline and work backwards to be able to achieve the goal. Start with the end result and work from there to make a plan to present day.

2. Set small, daily or weekly goals to be able to achieve your main goal. Record the tasks that need to be completed on your calendar.

3. Beg, plead or bride family members to help. Even the most organized person can need help at times. If someone offers to help with an event or task, take them up on it. Even something as simple as bringing food to a gathering can be a big help.

4. Be realistic in your expectations. Sometimes you just have to let things go. When it gets to be a couple days before the holiday if I haven’t accomplished something it probably wasn’t a big priority or important anyway.

5. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Have fun. Take a day just for you. Last year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I spent a few hours at a Spa and went shopping. It was just what I needed to get me going again.

6. Enjoy the whole process, not just the main event. If you’re overwhelmed and not enjoying yourself, maybe you should reevaluate your goals and expectations.

7. Plan some time or activities with just your family. I don’t know about you but I need some down time with just my little family, even if it’s just watching a movie or playing a game.

8. Plan a budget and stick to it as closely as possible. Having financial worries can put a damper on things during and after the holidays.

9. Think of others. Help your children and yourself get back to the true meaning of the holidays by thinking of ways you can benefit others either financially, in service, or friendship. Try to plan something to do for someone else at least once a week from Thanksgiving through Christmas. It will help you focus on what really matters.

10. It’s never to early to start planning. The earlier, the better for me. There’s a lot of stress in last minute decisions and planning (or lack of).

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Please join me tomorrow for the next 31 Days of Christmas Ideas post.

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