Less Stress, More Joy this Holiday Season
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN ISSAQUAH HIGHLANDS CONNECTIONS, NOVEMBER 2018 ISSUE
Over the next few months many of us will be surrounded by friends and family, inviting them into our homes, and tackling big to do lists. The holiday season can fill our souls with so much joy, bringing us together to take part in traditions and celebrate with one another. And while this season can be so magical, it can also be a very trying time for many.
Getting your home holiday ready can feel daunting. As I mentioned last month, starting small is the way to go. Once you begin, it is easier to gain momentum. First, write down the goals you have, events you will be hosting, and things you need to get done. Be sure to leave a small space in the left margin. Rather than trying to think of what is most important as you go, wait until you get everything down on paper, then start prioritizing. Use that reserved margin to number your ideas in order of importance. Be sure to type your final agenda. That will give you a way to easily adjust as necessary when things come up.
Another valuable tip I use when helping my clients work through their homes, is to start in the spaces they occupy the most. For the holidays, this is where your family and friends will be spending their time. Having these areas complete and ready, will make you feel the most accomplished right up front, giving you the motivation needed to tackle the rest of the list. Updating and organizing your entryway is a quick and easy way to begin. Start by putting away or storing any unused sports equipment, shoes and jackets. Add storage bins or a bench to tuck away items, while leaving them accessible, and clean out your entryway closet. If your home does not have this feature, you can add a few more hooks or a coat rack for your guest’s jackets and scarves.
Also, ask for help. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, you will find that friends and neighbors would love to lend a helping hand. And if you are in the position to hire out some of your needs, there are many opportunities to have others take on some of the burden. Right in the Issaquah Highlands at Grand Ridge Plaza, we have restaurants such as Sip and Agave that offer catering services for your parties, and of course Ben and Jerry’s and Pinkabella cupcakes for your dessert needs. Or you could hop online and post your need on our community Facebook boards. You will have referrals and support within minutes. We live in such a unique community, with connection built in by design.
As we enter this time of celebration, remember to stay flexible and resourceful. There are many ways to tame your to do list, to keep it from demanding your constant attention. Over the next few months, try to implement some of these ideas to reduce your stress and increase your happiness! Don’t aim for perfection. Just try to create warm, welcoming spaces that make you and your guests feel good. And stay in a place of gratitude, being thankful for the gift of time, family, friends, and the ability to be part of a neighborhood that supports and encourages inclusiveness, diversity and a sense of community.
Next month we will go into more detail about tackling decorations, gifts and packing for holiday travel. See you soon!