Finding time to really enjoy holiday festivities can be a big challenge. Why? Well, think about it. There are lots of factors that are especially prevalent during this season … and they certainly up the ante when it comes to stress. They include:

• Complex feelings and dynamics generated by family gatherings;
• Coping with loss and grief (often accentuated at holiday time);
• Busy stores and long, long lines;
• Baking, decorating and other holiday projects;
• Gift buying, strained budgets, and financial stressors; and
• … more!

Added, to that, if you have great expectations for what the holiday season will bring it amplifies your stress.

Maybe you long for the old days, when, as a child, anticipation was high and there was a feeling of magic in the air. Being an adult can then feel like a let-down; and you may find the season to be more stressful than joyous.

The good news is that it doesn't have to stay that way. (Well, the adult part does … but you can definitely de-stress your holidays!)

Here are some timely tips for overcoming stress and enjoying this time of year:

1. Avoid over-commitment. There is so much to do at this time of year; if saying "no" preserves some of your sanity, then do it! Others will be more understanding than you may expect, and the fact is that you don't have to go to every event you're invited to.

Saying "no thank you" to some invitations will free up time for yourself! So, give yourself some solitude. It's easy to become so overwhelmed and burdened that you secretly wish for the season to pass quickly. Whether it's a walk, a yoga class, or a bubble bath, step away from holiday stress and allow yourself to do something enjoyable.

2. Don't let traditions consume you. Maybe your mother cooked a full course holiday dinner, or your family hosted a lavish holiday party. Or maybe the tradition was to bake hundreds of cookies to give to friends and relatives.
These are wonderful memories, but it's important to not let them weigh on you or become things that you 'should' do.

Consider this: Rather than living up to past patterns and expectations, start your own, easy-going traditions. Have a few good friends over for tea and cookies. Host a pot-luck holiday meal rather than cooking it all yourself.

3. Make gift-giving fun and meaningful! Often it feels like there's so much pressure to purchase the perfect gift for each person that it takes all the fun out of shopping. Remember, people don't expect you to go to the ends of the Earth to find them a spectacular gift.

Give from your heart and you can't go wrong! Be creative and practical, too. What about a hand-made coupon for a free night of babysitting, one day of yard work, or something else that would be special and meaningful?

And don't forget about shopping online. That makes the search a lot easier – and it may be more cost-effective, as well. (It certainly is a time-saver!)

As you see, there are many ways to overcome stress during the holidays. One important key is to determine what's causing your stress. Once you know the problem, you can usually find a way to address it. In the end, you'll often see that much of the stress you experience springs from expectations that you put on yourself.

So I hope you'll use these tips to free yourself and enjoy less stressful holidays this year … and every year!
And to move toward your Heart-Based Time Success, sign up for our free gift, the Finding Time Success Kit, which includes "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" Using a workbook format this powerful and practical time template helps you progress beyond disappointment and frustration. Discover that 24 hours really are enough!

Offered by Paula Eder, Ph.D., The Time Finder Expert.

Author's Bio: 

Paula Eder, PhD is an internationally-known coach and published author who specializes in mentoring heart-based entrepreneurs and small business owners, from the inside out, to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors to make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.

You can learn more about Paula’s unique, Heart-Based Time Management™ System and begin your transformational journey by signing up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Follow your heart-based path to finding time for what matters most.