3rd December 2018
As the temperature dips, high streets are asparkle with lights and supermarkets are full of festive fare – from calendars and candles, Christmas cakes to Channukah latkes. Yet the prospect of preparing for the holidays may not fill you with good cheer. Whatever you celebrate mid-winter, December can be one of the most daunting months of the year.
Professional organiser Juliet Landau-Pope, author of Being More Productive and Clearing Your Clutter, has four great tips on how to reduce stress and simplify life in the run up to seasonal celebrations:
1. List it
Rather than mulling over the multitude of tasks that you need to accomplish, declutter your mind by writing them all down, ideally in one place. Whether you’re a digital devotee or more partial to pen-and-paper, find a system that enables you to track your progress and tick items off your to-do list.
2. Don’t compete, collaborate
Whether you’re hosting a family meal or organising an outing with colleagues, don’t agonise about impressing anyone. You won’t win any prizes for micromanaging so dare to delegate as much as possible. There’s no shame in asking guests to bring a dish or to arrive early to help you set the table. Find ways to share the workload so that you can enjoy the experience yourself.
3. Focus on what matters most
When you’re overwhelmed by arrangements it’s easy to overlook the purpose of all these preparations. The endless shopping and socialising during the countdown to Christmas or the eight evenings of Channukah can feel like a marathon – one that’s both physically and emotionally exhausting. If so, the best thing to do may be …. nothing. Stop. Breathe. Regroup. And remind yourself why the occasion matters.
4. Better done than perfect
From magazines to social media, there’s no escaping the pressure to curate a perfect Christmas or Channukah. Adverts proclaim the promise of perfect gifts and cookery columns offer recipes for perfect party fare. But in reality, these standards are not only impossible to attain; they’re not even necessary. So resist those perfectionist tendencies and adopt the slogan: better done than perfect.
Enjoy the festive season!