9 Ways to Simplify and Bring More Joy to Your Holidays

Shifting your focus during the holiday season is the easiest way to experience joy and happiness during a time that is stressful for most.

1. Plan ahead. Successes start with planning. I use a basic calendar on my computer to plan shopping, meals, social engagements, work and appointments. It is the quickest way to see if I am over-booking my time especially during the
holidays. I use a running gift list for the holidays and for birthdays so when its time to think about the gifts I want to purchase or make, I’ve got a head start.

2. Shop early. If you are ordering gifts don’t wait to the last minute. I like to have any shopping for gifts finished in November, and then there isn’t the pressure of trying to buy something or make something at the last minute. This doesn’t always work out but at least if I’ve started it will minimize the chaos.

3. Consider a donation. Give a donation to a cause that is near and dear to someone you care about instead of a gift.

4. Volunteer. Take your focus off of yourself and your to-do’s is a tried and true way to let go of stress. When we give of ourselves and focus on making a difference somewhere else, it puts the true spirit of the holidays into perspective.

5. Clean and de-clutter. Give away belongings that are useful, clean and could be used by someone in need. When you have clear space in your environment, you have clear space in your mind.  Learn more here at 10 Tips for Battling Your Clutter.

6. Give experiences. Plan events together and try to experience things you haven’t done in your area such as hikes, museums or botanical gardens. I have this amazing park near my house and it took me 18 months to actually visit. That was so silly! Now I go every week and I share one of my new favorite places with everyone I know.

7. Save the Sunday Comics. These pages make for creative “green” holiday wrapping paper. In our house the wrap gets as much attention as the gift. This has turned into a fun and free family ritual.

8. Make reusable gift bags. About 10 years ago just after Christmas I purchased a few yards of holiday fabric at discounted prices from the fabric store. With it I made simple drawstring bags in many different sizes. Now “wrapping” the family gifts takes about 15 minutes and the savings is substantial. I took this further and did it for my children’s birthday gifts and their friends as well. To this day many of those bags are still being used for bits and bobs.

9. Think of yourself. It’s OK to say no; no to excessive parties, no to excessive purchasing, and no to excesses in your diet. Don’t worry about offending the host or how others may perceive your actions. It’s OK to say no.

When we focus on simplifying the times when we are supposed to be experiencing joy, we actually open up more time and space for that joy and gratitude at hectic times of the year.

*Photo Credit:

About the JOY Coach

Cheryl Bigus

Cheryl is a personal development coach and mentor who helps women free themselves from hormonal imbalances, weight issues and chronic stress so they can achieve confidence in the way they look and feel without using boot-camp workouts and deprivation diets.

Cheryl takes great joy in helping women unearth their happiness and desires and would love for you to contact her for a free "Frantic to Euphoric" Breakthrough Session. She is a Healthy-Life Coach who can be contacted at EuphoricRoots.com and on Facebook.

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