On this episode of Work/Life, Caleb Denison sits down with Ciara Pressler, founder of Pregame, to talk about what’s on everybody’s mind during this time of year: How do I keep my sanity during the busy, crazy holiday season? Pressler gives tips, tricks, and strategies to help you navigate your challenges, events, food, work, and life to bring sanity during this insane time of year.
“During this time of year, I find there’s a lot of sensory overload,” says Pressler. “Flashing lights, more stuff, more things you have to do. Keeping your mind clear takes special effort.”
So what can a person do? “First is to say ‘NO,’” Pressler says. “If you’re not into it, you don’t have to go,” she says. And you don’t even have to give a reason, she adds. “’No’ is a complete sentence,” she notes. You don’t owe anyone else an explanation, just a polite “no.” Setting boundaries is an important step in keeping your schedule and your mind open and calm.
As for the pressures of gift giving, Pressler has a few suggestions. From simply agreeing with others not to do gifts, or trying to pick up all your gifts in one place instead of scrambling all over town to find them, there are many ways to tackle the gift issue. Sometimes giving small things like a hand-written note or something else personal is a great idea. Making memories, doing activities together, and spending time with others can all be wonderful and memorable ways to build relationships without the stress of picking something out at the store.
A lack of rest can drag us down during this time of year as well. “Not only should we be trying to reduce clutter in our homes, we need to start reducing clutter activities. If you love doing it, and it brings you joy, then keep doing it,” says Pressler. “But say no to some things so you don’t sacrifice your sleep.” A digital detox, a few days without TV, or using apps that help you keep track of your time are all ways to calm yourself during the hectic holiday weeks. Finding that balance of activities that you enjoy doing and passing on the ones you don’t will help your holidays be a time of rest and relaxation instead of stress and anxiety.
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