Do you usually get stressed out at this time of year?

With the Christmas season upon us, stress is going to be piling on thick. And every year it seems like the whole Christmas season starts sooner than the year before!

Right off the top, I want to clarify that this isn’t the same kind of articles you’ve been reading, with tips about spending less, creating a budget and sticking to it, or making gifts instead of buying. These are all truly wonderful tips and will definitely help. But this list of tips is a bit different.

So here we go:

1. Stay in the moment. There are a lot of festivities to partake of, so at each one, stay in the moment. Cherish it. Experience it. Enjoy the one you’re at and don’t think about everything else that’s on your list of obligations. Be present.

2. Let go of perfection. Whether you’re entertaining at home or you’re a guest elsewhere. Let go of being perfect. Let go of expecting perfection from others. Roll with whatever happens. From how you’re dressed, to the food and to the decorations. Be perfectly imperfect! No one wants perfection anyway, everyone wants to feel happy and cheerful, and to have a really good time.

3. Focus on experiences and not things. Ok, so this one is a lot like what you will read everywhere. But it’s definitely worth including. I’ve shared before about one Christmas when money was beyond tight (I was a single mom) and I just didn’t know how I was going to buy gifts for my kids. The best I could do that year was a couple of t-shirts and a few books. Both my kids are avid readers and always had books on their lists. They are young adults now and they have no recollection of a sparse year in the gift department. But they do remember the dish that was always forgotten about and left in the microwave (everyone does that right??), the Christmas games we played, and the people we shared Christmas with. And when I look back on my childhood Christmases, it’s the people, the shared meals, and the laughter I remember. So focus on the experience of Christmas. That’s what everyone will remember.

4. Shift your priorities for the month and let go of the guilt. There are many things we should be doing instead of baking, decorating, or going to another Christmas party. Or watching yet another Christmas movie. This is especially an area that entrepreneurs will struggle with. Let it go. Instead of beating yourself up over what you should be doing, give yourself permission to enjoy this time of year. Do what needs to be done, but give yourself a break too. Christmas is for family, friends and festivities. Enjoy, without guilt! In January you can get back into the regular routine. By the way, I’m not saying to put your exercise routine on hold for the month so you can eat, drink and be merry! Your exercise routine would come under ‘do what needs to be done’.

5. Lastly, think of what Christmas means to you, and how you want to experience it. Then do just that.

Wishing all of you a wonderful and merry Christmas!