Top 10 tips for Dealing with Year-end Madness

by Claire Minnaar

The silly season is almost here. We are seeing the Xmas decorations slowly creeping out those boxes that have been hidden in store rooms, people are switching off from work in preparation of their upcoming holiday and kids are putting that long list together for Santa Clause.

Once this time of year is upon us, it can feel like someone is pushing the fast forward button on the remote and things can feel extremely rushed, disorganised and what should be a relatively stress-free time can become rather stressful and unpleasant.

So, consider these top 10 tips to help you reduce any unwanted or stressful situations and ensure you don’t catch the year-end madness epidemic:

  1. Schedule everything: Just like you would diarise meetings with clients or dates with friends, schedule everything you HAVE to do. Go as far as printing out a daily calendar which highlights the must dos on a particular day, the optional ones and then the nice to haves.
  2. Say No: If you have a schedule, refer to the schedule and if something interferes or clashes with one of your “MUST Dos”, say NO. Saying “No” is an amazing stress preventer.
  3. Shop Intelligently: Given December is Christmas season, the shops start getting full of people trying to find gifts for themselves or their family. And, the grocery stores are super busy with people making sure they have the supplies for various parties, celebrations and family meals. The key to reducing the stress / madness here is to a) shop in the early hours when most people are still in bed and b) to buy in bulk. Plan your shopping ahead of time and DO NOT enter a shop without an official shopping list. Having a shopping list will keep your shopping intentional and you will get done a whole lot faster.
  4. Budget: Don’t spend what you don’t have. Getting into debt or spending too much causes anxiety and will contribute to the year-end madness. Stick to a budget and rather enjoy window shopping.
  5. Get enough sleep and rest: This is the time of year for celebrations and parties. Lack of sleep can have a definite impact on how you feel, so make sure to get the rest you need. If you have kids, consider getting a baby sitter in on the morning after your parties, so you can sleep in a bit.
  6. Avoid family conflict: This is often the time of year where families unite for meals to catch up and spend some with each other. Given the different personalities involved, often you can get triggered by something someone does or something someone says. If someone says or does something that brings up some form of an emotion, take a DEEP breath and step away. Decide whether it’s important to fight over – in most cases, it won’t be worth the effort.
  7. Be present: Focus on today and what needs to be done today. Don’t think about what still has to be done, when you’re going back to work, what happened yesterday. Rather, focus on who you are with and enjoying your break from work or your time off or your kids.
  8. Don’t have expectations: Don’t expect your family members who you haven’t seen in a long time to have changed. Don’t expect Christmas or your holiday to be exactly how you imagined or dreamed it would be. Go with the flow – this will allow you to be present and live in the moment.
  9. Take time out: Make sure to take some time away from others so you can process any emotions and thoughts going through your mind. You’ve had a long year, so you most certainly deserve some time off. If you have kids, get a babysitter or get your partner to take them for an hour – it’s amazing what time alone, even for an hour, can do.
  10. Avoid the roads: This time of year is renowned for being a dangerous time on the roads. Between car accidents and road rage, driving long distance will almost definitely have your blood pumping and your heart rate shooting up. Consider having a quiet time at home or hanging out at close locations that are only a few minutes’ drive or a short walk away. If you have kids, consider different activities from board games, baking and some fun outdoor activities…use your imagination.

Use the tips above to help you stay sane and if you aren’t having fun, then do something else. This is your time to enjoy and relax, so make the most of it!

Image Credit: Real Life

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