Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
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How to Reduce Stress This Holiday Season

I don't know about you, but it's only December 9th and I'm exhausted. The stress of the holidays is enough to make a grown woman call a caterer. I think the people who celebrate Christmas are a bit more fortunate as you guys only have one day to plan for. Try figuring out how to acknowledge a holiday that goes on for eight days!

I'm cutting back on all the hoopla this year. This seems like the perfect year to do so as people expect a lot less extravaganza, due to the economy. Here's what I'm doing to reduce the holiday stress around my house. Hopefully this will provide you with a few ideas to do the same so you can sit back and enjoy life as it was meant to be lived.

I've reduced my gift-giving list– I hope you are not disappointed if you don't receive a gift from me this year. I'm betting most won't even notice will all the other presents sitting under the tree or the menorah. I figure when you get to be a certain age, you pretty much have what you need. If you don't, you'd rather pick it out yourself so why should I put you through the motions of pretending you are ecstatic to receive a gift you are seriously considering re-gifting.

We are giving back rather than giving to each other– This has been a tough year for charities. That's why my children have elected to donate one of their Chanukah gifts this year to Heifer International. They will be buying a flock of chickens so that children, who are less fortunate, can add nourishing, life-sustaining eggs to their inadequate diets. Seems like a more sustainable gift than another set of Lego's.

I'm setting realistic expectations for my business during the month of December – Rather than running around trying to book last minute appointments, I am spending that time working on marketing projects that have been in the hopper for quite a long time. I feel better already knowing that I am not adding more items to an all ready full to-do-list.

Just saying no! – I'm usually the first to volunteer to take on projects at my children's school or when someone asks me for help. I'm letting others take their turn at bat. I figure if I don't keep raising my hand, eventually someone else will.

Granting myself permission to chill – It's hard to sit back when you are a Type A personality, but this is exactly what I've given myself permission to do over the holiday break. I'm going to read a book, go to a movie and not feel guilty about shifting my attention from work.

The holiday season will be gone in a flash. What are you doing to savor these last moments of what has been a tough year? Please add your comments in the Comment Section below.

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