Holidays | Simplify

Simplifying the Holidays So You Can Enjoy Them

By on November 16, 2017

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The holidays can bring about anxiety and stress when we’re trying to do it all. I previously wrote about planning for Thanksgiving here and Christmas here and holiday organizing here. Planning and organization are just some of the ways to start simplifying your holidays.

Planning Ahead

Take the time to schedule your activities, menus, and decor, so you know what to expect. Make sure that you don’t plan more than you can physically do. We all have grand ideas of what we would like the holidays to look like, but we also need to be realistic.

I do not go out shopping on Black Friday. Instead, I spend the day decorating for Christmas except for our tree that we purchase and trim the week before Christmas. I also spend the weekend after Thanksgiving writing out our Christmas cards. It has become a yearly tradition and helps me to prepare for the upcoming holiday.

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Getting Organized

It’s helpful to get through the season and holiday if you take the time to get organized ahead of time. Decorate the spaces that you use the most during the holidays. Also, take some time to make sure that the most used areas in your home are in order so that you can find things you need quickly and easily. The most obvious areas are your kitchen spaces, living area, and bathrooms. If you are having overnight guests, you will want to make sure that you organize the sleeping arrangements to accommodate them.

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Take Time to Relax

During all of the hustle and bustle of the season, take the time to relax. Relaxing could include sitting, and reading your favorite book or listening to music or a podcast. Whatever you do to relax, make a habit of it especially during the busy holiday season.

One thing that I enjoy doing is making an evening to go out and take in the Christmas lights while listening to our favorite Christmas songs. It’s relaxing to spend time with my hubby while we look at all of the light displays.

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Don’t Try to Do It All

Decking the halls for a holiday can take up quite a bit of time. Simplify your decor and don’t feel that you have to decorate everything. Choose a favorite holiday tradition to do before the holiday and save the others for the weekend or vacation. Making elaborate plans can lead to disappointment if you aren’t able to accomplish them.

One year, while I was teaching outside of the home, that we did not get our Christmas cookies baked before Christmas Day. Instead of worrying about it, we made it a fun afternoon activity with our kiddos while we were on vacation.

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Simplifying

You don’t have to do everything. Attempting to do it all can add unnecessary stress and anxiety during the season instead of allowing you to enjoy it. By simplifying your expectations for your holiday and doing only what you can do, you can enjoy the holidays and the season ahead.

Until next time,

simplify, simplifying, organizing, planning, holidays, Christmas

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Gratitude

Gratitude and Keeping a Journal

By on November 9, 2017

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Thanksgiving is coming up quickly; unless you’re a Canadian friend and celebrated last month. It’s always a good time to take a moment and reflect on what makes us grateful. We can often overlook what we have gratitude for when things are busy or aren’t going well.

Keeping a Journal

One way that I reflect on my gratitude is to journal each day. I purchased a pre-dated planner that I liked at the beginning of the year and write in it each day. My entries can include daily activities, my thoughts or feelings, something that I want to make a note of, or what I’m grateful for each day. Ideas for what to journal about are endless.

Journaling is part of my daily routine. I make time for it each evening. It doesn’t take me long to write about my day, and I enjoy looking back at what I’ve written. I also include pictures for some of my entries. I purchased a Polaroid Zip®, and the photo paper has an adhesive back. The photos add visual interest to my journal.

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Take a moment and reflect on what you are grateful for by starting a journal. Ideas for what to journal about are endless.

Until next time,

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Plan

Life Happens Whether You Plan On It or Not

By on November 6, 2017

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My kiddos are all older, and one-by-one have been leaving the nest. A couple of weeks ago, my youngest son called and told me that his new job was going to be taking him four and a half hours from home. I knew that this was a possibility but, it still didn’t prepare me for the news. I started thinking about what we needed to do to make this move happen.

Immediately, we started planning and prepping for his move. We spent time right away finding a place for him to live. Thankfully, we found something within just a few days. He has been spending the weekends packing up his room. We wrote out a list of things that he needs and even bought items for his new place. The next month is going to be crazy. However, we also want to make sure that he can settle in his new home without any issues. He’ll be starting his new job just a few days after he moves. I’m thankful that things are falling into place for him.

My husband and I have often talked about moving to an area that’s within an hour or two of where my son will be living. Relocating has been a conversation that has taken place over the last few years. It’s not something that we decided on when my son told me that he was moving. I have to admit though; I would be happy to live closer to him rather than further away.

Life happens whether you plan on it or not. How can you manage things when life doesn’t go according to plan?

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1 | Breathe

Sometimes, it feels like life can knock the breath out of you. It’s important to take time to breathe and take care of one thing at a time, so you’re not overwhelmed.

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2 | Relax

With all that is going on, take the time to relax and take care of yourself. Indulge in a favorite pastime, read a book, listen to music or a podcast, or exercise to relieve the stress. A nap isn’t a terrible way to relax either. It helps you to recharge so you can take on whatever life is throwing at you.

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3 | Take things as they come

We often want to take care of everything at once, so it isn’t hanging over us. Instead, take each thing, one at a time, so that you can give it your best.

4 | Do what you can

We can’t do everything. Do what you can and don’t feel guilty if you don’t accomplish everything on your to-do list. I often take one day during the week to catch up on things. It makes me feel better when I devote the time to do that.

5 | Look for the good

There is always good in your life no matter how crazy things can be. Look for the good and take the time to savor and be grateful for it.

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Whether you plan on it or not, life happens. You can manage things when life doesn’t go according to the plans you have made. Take a breath, relax, and take things as they come. You’ll get there.

Until next time,

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