Wishing you a happy, stress-free holiday

Tanja Shaw offers a simple exercise to make your holiday to-do list more manageable and give yourself permission to relax a little.

Tanja Shaw offers a simple exercise to make your holiday to-do list more manageable and give yourself permission to relax a little.

Christmas is less than a month away, are you excited?  Or are you a wee bit stressed?

With the exception of those who still believe in Santa Claus, most people seem to err on the side of ‘feeling stressed’ around the holidays.  Small talk about the weather (we like talking about the weather in Chilliwack) is replaced with “Are you ready for Christmas?”

So what does, “being ready” really mean?  Does it mean preparing brilliant Christmas entertaining platters, getting that perfect gift for the ‘hard to buy’ people on your list, celebrating the season with a new glittery outfit, baking all 12 family favourite Christmas cookies, preparing the perfect, plump turkey (on one or more occasion) and yes, sticking to your workout and diet regime?

I think this time of year is wonderful, but if you fall into the holiday trap of trying to do everything for everyone, it can also be incredibly stressful.  If you love doing all the Christmas-y activities, and feel like it’s very manageable, then go ahead and enjoy it.  However, if you feel overwhelmed with all that needs to be done, know that you don’t have to do it all.  Do this simple exercise to make your holiday to-do list more manageable and give yourself permission to relax a little.

The exercise is called a brain dump.  This version is geared toward the holidays, but you can do it anytime of the year.  I do, and it’s wonderful!  Here’s how it goes:

•    Write a list of all the tasks and activities you need to do around the holidays.  Separate the tasks into a ‘daily list’ (things you do daily such as preparing meals, work, spending time with family, commuting, workouts, etc.).  Create a weekly list (things you do 1-2 times per week) and a ‘one-off’ list (things you will likely only need to do only a few times, such as holiday shopping, writing Christmas cards, preparing holiday meals, decorating, holiday parties, baking, etc.).

•    Allot an amount of time to each activity.

•    Now you’re ready for the fun part.  Place a star beside all the tasks that are important to you, that you enjoy doing.  Be honest- do you really have to do everything on your list?  Do you really need to bake 12 different kinds of cookies?  Will your family really suffer? If you really want to attend all the Christmas parties you’ve been invited to, then great!  But if you really don’t want to go to a few, it’s not ‘star-worthy’.

•    Now ask, can you ‘simplify any of the starred activities?  If you need to spend an entire day preparing a holiday meal (and don’t truly enjoy it), are there ways to simplify the task?  Can you get help?  Block time in your calendar to do the star-worthy activities.  Maybe you’ll decide to go Christmas shopping next weekend, or go grocery shopping for the big day on the 23rd.

•    For everything that is not starred, you get to delegate or dump the task.  Again, be honest.  If you don’t need to do something (for example, someone else is capable of doing the task), delegate it.  No one to delegate it to?  Then dump it.

This holiday season, I hope you can enjoy the time spent with loved ones rather than worrying about how you are going to tackle your ‘to-do’ list.  Focus on the things you like to do, and have a relaxing, stress-free holiday season.

 

Tanja Shaw is the owner of Ascend Fitness Inc., a private training studio.  Tanja and her team of expert fitness professionals work to inspire and educate Chilliwack residents to make positive and power changes in their lives through physical fitness and sound nutrition.  For more fitness tips go to www.ascendfitnesscoaching.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack, is among five such facilities in the Fraser Health region to have confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff members, on Oct. 21, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Progress)
Confirmed case of COVID-19 at Chilliwack assisted living facility

Staff members at five Fraser Health care homes have tested positively for coronavirus

A black bear targets a bird feeder by the Rotary Trail along the Vedder River in Chilliwack on Oct. 7, 2020. (William Snow photo)
Public safety of Chilliwack residents cited as young bear euthanized

Human-habituated bear was hanging around residential areas and bird feeders near the Vedder River

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Local photographer Wolf Drescher spotted film crews set up along Esplanade Avenue in front of Canwest Art Gallery on the Lake on Thursday, October 1. Film production crews working on ‘Solitary’ will be around the area until close to the end of the month. (Contributed Photo/Wolf Drescher)
“Solitary” Update: Dramatic action scene to be filmed in Agassiz

‘Solitary’ will film a break-in, getaway at Kent Outdoors

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The website Chigoby is among eight scam online retailers that have been identified by the Better Business Bureau. The site was fraudulently using an Abbotsford residential address, but has since switched to one in Poland.
8 scam online-shopping websites fraudulently use Abbotsford address

Better Business Bureau says victims lost hundreds for non-existent or poor-quality products

The Surrey Eagles are currently seeking billet families for its players in advance of the 2020-‘21 BC Hockey League season. (Garrett James photo)
BCHL team in ‘desperate’ need of billet families for upcoming hockey season

COVID-19 pandemic has made finding homes for players difficult: billet co-ordinator

Most Read