3 Ways to Avoid Overwhelm (and keep your sanity!) this Holiday Season

Can you believe it’s DECEMBER already?!? Craziness. Hard to believe, I know. I hope you have your advent calendar up, your candle centerpiece ready, or whatever your holiday traditions are, I hope they are getting underway.

AND, if you haven’t even begun to think about the holiday season yet, THAT’S OKAY TOO!

At this time of year it’s all too easy to get caught up in feeling the need to decorate a la Martha Stewart, or make home-baked goods better than Betty Crocker, or to show up at every holiday party perfectly primped in new frocks like you’re like the biggest socialite on the block (with a bottomless bank account, to boot!)

I don’t know about you, however I am getting anxious just thinking about it!

Isn’t this time of year supposed to be the most peaceful and joyest of all?

In order to ensure you don’t get too caught up in the shoulds and the comparisons, here are 3 ways to avoid overwhelm (and keep your sanity) this holiday season.


1. Detach from Expectation.

It’s tough not to have some vision in your head of what the holiday season is supposed to look like. You have your family traditions, your special rituals, your festive festivities.

And, every year it’s not always going to be possible the way you see it in your head, or have experienced previously. And that’s okay.

This year, I’m going to be doing something a bit out of the ordinary over Christmas. I won’t be at home, I won’t be with my sisters, and I won’t be partaking in many of our regular family traditions I have come to know and love.

Yes, I will miss some of it. However, only if I’m attached to certain expectations of what it has been in the past, should be, or could be, will I experience upset.

And so instead, I’m choosing to simply ‘go with the flow.’ Who knows, it may be my best Christmas yet!

Detach from expectation. Don’t kill yourself trying to get all those Christmas cards out and those decorations up on time. Be with what is. And enjoy however this season is meant to unfold.


2. Be okay with Saying NO.

It’s a theme that has come up before and will no doubt come up again. You do not have to attend every festive mixer or holiday potluck or eggnog party there is. Not only will you drive yourself crazy trying to be everywhere with everyone every night of the week, chances are likely you’re not even going to enjoy yourself, anyway!

And with respect to anything additional that’s being asked of you, be honest and realistic with yourself. Is that really necessary right now? Is it a priority?

Look at what’s currently on your schedule or your responsibility list. Is there something you can let go of, delegate, or put off?

Be okay with saying NO. And start saying YES to yourself and your real needs.


3. Book in some tea time… or rather some ME time!

Book yourself a massage. Or reserve a spot on your fave couch and curl up with a cup of tea or a nice book. Go for a walk. Get your nails done.

Yes, I’m talking about ME time. It’s not overrated. It’s important. And even moreso than ever at this time of year.

And I don’t want you just talking about it. BOOK THAT S#!% in!!! Seriously, if it doesn’t get on your calendar, the chances of it actually happening are slim to none.

I’m pretty excited, a group of girlfriends and I are escaping for a night away at the spa next week… it’s going to be just what the Doctor ordered!

Choose something that relaxes you, makes your heart smile, and that is only for you. And book it in your calendar, like, NOW! Or even better, schedule weekly ‘me’ time and treat it like a serious appointment.


It’s an exciting time of year. Or at least that’s what it could be! So let’s ensure it is, and it stays that way.

Want to avoid holiday overwhelm? Detach from expectation. Be okay with saying NO. Book in some ME time. (Click to tweet it out!)


Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res




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Carol Schulte

Carol is a published author, has been featured in numerous magazines and podcasts, and is a returning guest expert on Rogers TV. Having lived and worked in 16 countries including Ashrams in India and vans in New Zealand, rocked dreadlocks in Thailand and shaved her head for breast cancer, she certainly walks her talk and brings a global perspective to all she does. When she’s not traveling or speaking on stage, you can find her volunteering as a bereavement facilitator, training for her next triathlon, or practicing her serious carpool karaoke game.

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