Bust Holiday Stress!

The holidays will be here before you know it. Clear the way for greater joy, love and meaning this year by "busting" these sources of holiday stress:


This week, set holiday priorities with your family. Discuss what traditions to keep, which to discard, and which new traditions to try.

Make a holiday to-do list NOW and create a realistic schedule for when to accomplish each item.

Avoid overscheduling.

Ask family members for help with holiday tasks.


Shop via catalog or Internet, and avoid stores on weekends.

If you're shopping with small children, take along snacks, books, toys or other items to make waiting in line more pleasant. Or, if you're sufficiently uninhibited, sing a holiday song with your child.

If you're shopping alone, use waiting time to relax and and center yourself with meditation or prayer. Try directing your attention to your breathing at your belly. Or practice observing the people around you through the eyes of compassion, without judging. Give thanks or pray for healing, peace, or other concerns close to your heart.


Take some quiet time to develop a plan for taking care of yourself around relatives who "get your goat."

Invest in yourself by using a therapist to help create a plan to protect your boundaries.


Think "low key" for a happy celebration with little ones. Remember that your small child thrives on your undivided attention and has a limited capacity to adjust to adults' "needs" to hurry.

Protect your child's naptime and playtime.

Spend "floor-time" with your child every day.


Create family traditions that involve giving to those in need.

Focus on low-cost or no-cost holiday traditions.

Help keep children's expectations realistic. For example, you might say "You'll get about the same amount of presents as you did on your birthday."


Decide on a holiday budget for entertaining and gifts.

If credit cards make overspending too easy, stick to cash for holiday purchases.


If you have lost a loved one, the holidays may intensify your grief. Explore ways to cope at www.griefnet.org/library/articles/hfa-tips.html or www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=FL00055.

If "holiday blues" persist or seem particularly intense, don't hesitate to reach out for professional help. Your physician or clergyperson can give you a referral.


Spread out the fun at least through the end of school vacation by planning an outing or a fun time at home for each day. A little forethought and planning can go a long way towards making you glad the holidays are coming - instead of just being glad when they're over. Your wisdom holds the key to holiday joy.

2004 Norma Schmidt, Coach, LLC

Norma Schmidt, Coach, LLC, specializes in helping working mothers create balance. She offers workshops, teleclasses and individual and group coaching. She also edits "The Balance Point," a free e=mail newsletter. Visit http://www.NormaSchmidt.com to learn more.

In The News:

pen paper and inkwell

cat break through

Visions of Sugar Plums and Holiday Safety!

Ho, Ho, Ho, Holiday greetings to you!Every year at this... Read More

Get Organised for Christmas... NOW!

Hasn't time flown? Only six weeks to Christmas!Now you may... Read More

Stress-Free Party Planning

It's a fact; most of us feel immediately stressed and... Read More

Keeping it Simple this Season

It's back. The holiday season and all the challenges that... Read More

Unique Gift Ideas for the 21st Century

As a personal growth specialist, I like to think I'm... Read More

30th Birthday Gift Ideas

Choosing a birthday gift for a friend about to turn... Read More

Event Planning 101

One of the tools I use as a professional organizer... Read More

Christmas Gifts For Dolphin Lovers

Choosing a dolphin lover gift may not be as easy... Read More

Mothers Day Shopping Ideas

Do you know a Mom who needs to be thanked... Read More

Secrets to a Stress Free Holiday

December and all the excitement that comes with it can... Read More

Mothers Day is coming-Dont Blow It!

Mother's Day is May 8th. And, you do realize all... Read More

Home For The Holidays: Happy Times, Right

This time of the year is supposed to be happy.... Read More

Creative Kid Birthday Cake Ideas

A Creative Dream Come TrueA hush falls over the room... Read More

Find Easy Halloween Costumes Online! Great Ideas Are Only One Click Away

We all wish there was more time in a day.... Read More

Christmas Matters

Every year I vow to make Christmas easier, simpler -... Read More

Memorial Day Flowers

Monday, May 30th is Memorial Day. Your local florist can... Read More

A Simple Little Holiday Plan

The Thanksgiving leftovers have all been eaten and the gift-buying... Read More

Gypsy Fortune Teller Halloween Costumes ? Easy to Make

As a little girl I often loved to dress up... Read More

Inexpensive Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Kids

After all the gifts have been purchased and placed under... Read More

Seven Great Holiday Decorating Tips--Without Breaking the Bank

If you're looking for great ways to decorate your home... Read More

Is Labor Day Passe

In a word, yes !Labor Day, which started in 1882... Read More

Surviving Those Holiday Blues

Not everyone shares in the celebration and joy associated with... Read More

Tis The Season For Love ? and Stress!

The holidays are upon us and for many people this... Read More

What Is The Easter In Your Business?

Easter 2005 is coming, Sunday March 27, and Christians worldwide... Read More

Online Shopping: Tips For Holidays Gift Shopping

It is holidays time, and you've the money and you... Read More

Halloween & Hounds

Halloween is "fright night" for humans not dogs. Screaming, running,... Read More

The Origins of Mothers Day

Most people mistakenly believe that Mother's Day is an invention... Read More

Easter Traditions: Seven Ways To Add Meaning To Your Family Celebration

Family traditions connect us to past and future generations. They... Read More

Thanksgiving Memories

Turkey ... Stuffing ... Cranberry Sauce ... Pumpkin PieThis is... Read More

Mothers Day, Do You Know What Youre Giving The Woman Who Gave You Life?

Mother's Day, Do you know what you're giving the woman... Read More

5 Ways to Having the Happiest Valentines Day Ever (even if youre alone)

The thought of Valentine's Day conjures up romantic evenings, a... Read More

Christmas Gifts to Last a Lifetime

Do you know what you are giving to the children... Read More

Contact Lenses for Halloween

It is never too soon to begin planning the perfect... Read More