December is one of the most stressful times of year. If you don’t watch out, you could end up crying and in a terrible mess of anxiety. Here are five things you can do now to reduce the clutter and stress at the holidays:
- Make a list. Whether it’s a grocery list, gift shopping list, or list of things you need to do — write it down. Once it’s out of your head and onto a sheet of paper, you’ll stop cluttering up your mind with the items and stressing out about trying to remember it all.
- Check it twice … or as often as you need. Once you’ve made your lists, be sure to review them and/or bring them along with you. A list isn’t good to you if you don’t have it when you need it, where you need it. A to-do list should be reviewed regularly, until all items are completed.
- Find out what’s naughty. Walk around your home and/or office with a laundry basket or box and pick up any items that are out of place, and then put them away. Do you have a used glass on your desk that should be returned to the kitchen? Do you have shoes in the middle of the living room floor that belong in your closet? Reduce the stress caused by visual clutter by putting everything back in its place.
- Find out what’s nice. Take time each day to enjoy some down time. If you meditate, meditate. If you do yoga, do yoga. If you simply want to sit and drink your coffee in silence for 10 or 15 minutes, do that. Give your brain some much needed time off each day during this busy season.
- Get ready to travel out of town. If you’re traveling or even if you’re staying put, now is the time to confirm all of your reservations — travel, hotel, dinner, movie — or those of your guests. The less you leave up in the air, the less you’ll worry about your plans between now and then. RSVP to parties, find out what you’re supposed to bring to holiday dinners, or even learn which friends are coming into town you’ll want to see while they’re visiting their relatives. Get everything on the calendar and be ready for as much as you can.