Saturday 2 December 2017

5 tips that will have you waltzing through December

Inside - The calendar has rolled over to December, and stress levels have already started increasing. To keep your December stress free, try these 5 tips.

It says December on my calendar today.
And despite my blood pressure medication, I can feel the stress levels rising already.

Kids are finishing school, I haven't started present shopping, and Steve is being sent to New Zealand for 8 days right before Christmas.

It's easy to let December become a stressful month, but by reminding myself of these tips right now, I'll continue the month relatively stress free, and you can, too!

1 - plan everything

This makes such a difference to our Decembers!
Now, write down everything that you know is happening this month.

Last day of school, class parties, school disco, McDonalds lunch, Carols by Candlelight, kindy party, work party, everything.

Plan your meals. Plan the things you will do. Plan the presents you will buy, and the days you will go shopping. And don't forget to plan breakfast and lunch on the meal plan!

Once it's on a calendar, you can see how much space you have left yourself to do nothing, and plan breaks if you need them.

2 - shop early

I have been that person who shops for presents on December 23rd (and Christmas Eve), and spent the whole day filled with stress. With a plan for food and presents in hand, you can get your shopping done before school finishes!

For those last minute fresh prawns and veggies, hit the supermarket as soon as it opens (7am in Brisbane) to avoid the crowds and queues. The staff will thank you.

3 - wrap as you go

I'd like to say I do this every year, but I only aspire to it year after year. It makes a difference to your Christmas Morning, if you can head to bed the night before at a reasonable hour.

Wrapping as you go can also help you see if you've got enough paper, and the right number of presents.

4 - leave white space

I love the term white space. In scrapbooking, it's the term used for the blank space left around the photos and journalling. In life, it's about leaving a buffer of space for nothing. It allows for things to go wrong without stress, and downtime when little people are tired, and breathing space when the night before was a big one.

5 - reflect on the season

Reflection has become my new favourite thing. Checking in to see which bits worked, and which bits didn't (and rereading your notes next year) has made the most impact on how I handle the December stress.

Sit the whole family down, and ask them what they liked best. My kids often say the same things every year - Christmas Carols, family movies, checking out the lights.

Then ask what they didn't like, and make notes to change that next year. We have very little these days that the kids don't like, and it's usually related to things I can't control, like mozzies at the Carols, but by taking on board their ideas, I can plan for a better go next year.

How do you plan for a stress-free December?


1 comment

  1. Thanks for these tips. Shows that a little planning and organization might decrease the stress of Christmas. I'm currently in Cambodia, but will be back home next week - probably facing a huuuuge Christmas culture shock! Have a merry Christmas season.


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