- Set Priorities - this means that maybe you really can't do it all and you need to decide what is most important to you. For example, do you need to send 100 Holiday cards out or can you just send a few to those closest to you. Also, how many batches of cookies do you really need?
- Simplify - again, choose what's important and maybe do things on a smaller scale. Instead of baking yourself, what about getting something from a bakery or participating in a cookie exchange where you only bake 1 or 2 kinds and exchange with several friends and family members.
- Maintain reasonable expectations about "togetherness" - you don't have to attend every holiday event you're invited to nor do you have to invite everyone to your home. Keep in mind too that "too much" togetherness can create a lot of stress! Conversely, if you have little family near you invite friends over for a get together and/or volunteer your time to help others throughout the holiday season.
- Establishing a schedule can be immensely helpful! After you decide what is important to you make a schedule to complete tasks and don't forget to delegate! Don't attempt to complete everything yourself and don't be afraid to delegate!
- Maintain your own schedule, meaning stick to your exercise routine, eating and sleep habits and schedule down time. I know there will be some variation of course, but try to maintain your schedule as best you can. Eating well, getting enough sleep, and regular exercise are key components in managing stress.
- Nurture yourself - take a hot bubble bath, read a book, hit the gym - whatever you enjoy - just do it on a regular basis!
- Set a budget and stick to it - decide what you can afford to spend and stick to it! Don't stress yourself out assuming you need to spend a lot of money on gifts. I think gifts just need to be thoughtful and relevant to the person, not necessarily expensive. Consider browsing thrift shops and re purposing an item you know someone would love. Also, bake some goodies or create cookies or soup jars to give as gifts. There's tons of recipes on the Internet for creating cookie jars and you can buy canning jars inexpensively. Simply place a pretty tag and ribbon on it. Easy and cheap!