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Christmas is right at our heels, and I know a lot of you are probably still doing last minute Christmas shopping. If you have holiday parties to attend for Christmas Eve or anytime around it, I'm 98% sure you probably haven't even thought about what you're going to wear or what your family members are going to wear (that is, if you have to pick out their outfits like I do). Or maybe you haven't bought gifts for your relatives, teachers, or thought about what kind of side dish you have to prepare for any gatherings you have. This time of year is so stressful. No matter how prepared you try to be, there are some things that you just FORGET. It's inevitable. It happens to the best of us, trust me... I know first hand.
Knowing all of this, I thought I would put together a list of 5 things that I try to do during this time of year to alleviate some of the stress...
1. Make a list, and check it twice!
All jokes aside, seriously, MAKE LISTS! Get a notepad from wherever you want and make lists for everything. Keep them in your car, on your fridge, or on your desk at work. People do not utilize this simple tool enough. It is such a cheap and easy way to make sure things get done when you need them to. I try to write all of my lists in some sort of bold colored pen or marker to make sure that it catches my eye.
This notepad from Amazon is perfectly organized and super cute and affordable!
2. Set reminders on your smartphone
My phone is constantly going off with reminders that I've set for myself. Each time it goes off, I give myself a little pat on the back, lol! Because seriously, if I didn't do that I would forget nearly every appointment, phone call, or task I needed to take care of that is time specific. For instance- if I'm sitting at work, thinking about what I have to do when I get off; I'll set myself a reminder to address whatever task around 5:30 that afternoon, that way it doesn't slip my mind while I'm on my way home from work! You know those days where you are just exhausted, but you need to stop by the store before you get home, and you literally drive right by the store and forget to stop? It's definitely happened to me a time or two. But, when I set a reminder, this isn't an issue! I'll know that I need to make that stop, and I'll have my prewritten list of everything that I need to pick up while i'm there!
3. Set aside an hour each night to wrap gifts
Y'all...let me just say that gift wrapping is the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE! Ugh, I seriously dread it and I used to always put it off until I was literally riding in the car on the way to whatever party we had to attend that night. I would just shove the gift in whatever gift bag I could find at the nearest Walgreens. About two years ago I decided I was not going to procrastinate anymore, because I would always show up all sweaty and flustered from rushing while trying to wrap gifts in the moving car, lol! I sat down about three weeks prior to Christmas, and each night allowed myself about an hour or long enough to watch a Christmas movie, and wrapped gifts. I would pour myself a glass of wine or a cup of tea and just GET. IT. DONE. This saved me soooo much time, stress, and money because I wasn't rushed and I wasn't buying last minute wrapping gear at the only small stores that were open and cost twice as much.
4. Plan out your outfits for any gatherings you are attending
I feel like this is a big one. I typically always wait until the last minute to pick out an outfit for myself and my family. This issue has caused us to be late to things quite a few times. Whether you had the outfit pictured in your head and it just doesn't look right now that it's on, you didn't buy something in time and have to rush and try to find something a few hours before, you bought something, never tried it on, and it ends up not fitting, or maybe the outfit you wanted to wear is in the dirty clothes pile and you forgot to wash it in time. These are all issues that can be avoided by simply planning your outfits ahead of time. Planning includes purchasing or choosing something you already own at least 2 weeks beforehand, trying it on, getting it altered as needed, maybe taking a photo of yourself in it to be sure that you like it, and NOT WEARING IT until that event. And the same goes for your family if you're in charge of their outfits as well.
5. Breathe, take a relaxing bath, and remain CALM and COURTEOUS.
I know these may seem like extremely obvious ones, but during this time of year I notice these tend to be forgotten the most. Although this is the season of giving, you can't forget to take care of yourself. You have to take time to relax and give yourself a break. If you don't, everything will just build up, cause more stress, and you might end up taking it out on those that you love the most. Remember that this time of year is about spending time with the people you love the most. The gifts and parties are nice, but your sanity and happiness is much more important. When you're out shopping, be patient with the cashiers and store workers. Tip your waiters/waitresses. Use your manners. Just show GRACE and be KIND.