6 Strategies to Save Your Sanity During the Holidays

posted: 11/15/16
by: Katie Morton
Stressed woman shopping for gifts of christmas with red santa hat looking angry and distressed

Santa, sugarplums, sparkling lights, caroling, family dinners! Stress, migraines, plane travel, fights over politics while eating overcooked turkey! For many of us, the holidays are a magical time, but they can be trying. The hustle and bustle of the busy season, the demands of family, the expense of gift buying and travel... It can tough to keep smiling when you're so busy. Luckily for you, Rashida McKenzie of Queen Bee Concierge offers her pro tips on how to preserve your sanity this holiday season.

Sanity Saving Tip #1: Be Realistic

The allure of holiday decorating on our favorite TV shows coupled with our friends' Pinterest feeds can make us feel like decking the halls is a competitive event. Realize that while holiday decorations bring festive flair and warmth to any home, trying to overdue the decor can result in added stress (not to mention a lot of expense).

The best way to stay sane is to prioritize your decoration goals. Match your decorating efforts with the amount of time you'll be spending at home over the holidays. Many families spend days on the road, so they aren't even home to enjoy the decorations. If you and your family travel, then just focus on making the key areas of your home feel festive. The doorways and the main living room are the best place to focus your decorating efforts; it's what you see each day and what your guests will see when they enter your home.

Sanity Saving Tip #2: Don't Should on Yourself

Celebrating family traditions is a wonderful way to acknowledge your heritage. Know that as your family grows and changes, celebrating your own family traditions, or creating new ones with your children, will take priority.

Forget how you think the holidays should be. Use the holidays to create your own brand-new family traditions. Keep the ones that you liked growing up and forget the rest. As families change, traditions often change as well. Be open to creating new rituals with your own family, which have meaning and bring you happiness.

Sanity Saving Tip #3: Create a Checklist

Any well-organized person appreciates the value of a checklist. Making a list (and checking it twice!) is especially valuable when your calendar is full. Prioritize making a checklist at the beginning of the holiday season to keep track of your busy must-dos.

Follow that checklist and use it to keep you on track. Your checklist can track everything from chores to shopping. Basically, the function of a checklist is to simplify things, so you can more efficiently attack that prep work.

Sanity Saving Tip #4: Learn to Say "No"

The holidays are a festive time, full of excitement, parties, and events. From the kids' school plays to shopping for gifts to holiday bashes, it can seem like there's a social event every night of the week in December. Know that you don't have to have to say, "yes" to every invite that comes your way. Think about which events are worth the time, emotional energy, and financial output (long distance travel is not cheap!) and then choose wisely.

Saying "no" also applies to gift buying. Don't feel as though you need to purchase every gift item on your child's wish list. Setting them up to receive every item they ask for doesn't teach them about the value of money or make them appreciate what they have.

Sanity Saving Tip #5: Accept Help

Repeat after us: "You don't have to do it all!" Over the holidays, busy moms can feel like they need three extra sets of hands and a personal assistant. Distribute the holiday tasks; you'll keep your sanity and your family will get in the mood to celebrate.

Delegate some shopping to your spouse, have the kids wrap some presents, and decorate together as a family. If guests are coming over, don't decline their offers to bring food or drink. Simply put, share the workload and you'll be able to relax and enjoy the season.

Sanity Saving Tip #6: Plan the Way You Put Away

One way to stay sane is to get a jump on organizing for next year. If that sounds ambitious, don't be deterred, it's easier than it sounds.

When you're storing holiday decorations, simply group your holiday items into categories. Organize your ornaments, tree decorations, and various other seasonal items when you put them away this January. Group your holiday items into proper containers. The Container Store has perfect storage options for holiday decor. Don't forget to label what each item is. When you're ready to start decorating next December, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much easier it'll be!

With a few sanity saving tips, you'll be merry and bright this holiday season, instead of grouchy and tired. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, remind yourself that the purpose of the season is to celebrate joy, family, and peace. Wishing you a happy (and sane) holiday!