6 Ways to Simplify the Holidays

By Barbara Danza, Epoch Times
November 27, 2019 Updated: November 27, 2019

As the holidays come into view, it’s all too easy to get swept up in the frenzy of shopping, planning, decorating, and to-do lists.

Rather than racing to the finish line, relieved at the end that it’s all done, consider a focus on simplicity this year. Instead of hustle and stress, opt for peace and joy.

Here are six ways to simplify the holidays and focus on what really matters this season.

Minimize Decisions

Decision fatigue is a term coined by psychologists that means the more decisions that are considered, the more the mind grows weary and ineffective at making decisions. If you’ve ever shopped for too long or researched anything extensively online or just gotten to the end of a day where you felt like you couldn’t possibly make another decision, you can relate.

The holidays tend to add a large pile of extra decisions on top of the normal decisions you’re faced with each day, and it can be draining.

A few ways to reduce the number of decisions you need to make is to, first, simplify your regular routines. Eat the same thing for breakfast each day, simplify your cleaning routines, and set time limits on decisions to reduce burnout. When it comes to holiday-specific decisions, choose a theme for your holiday to reduce your options, and have your decor or the presents you give all fall under that umbrella. Wrap all of your gifts in the same wrapping. Give the same gift to multiple people. Wear the same basic color palette all season long. Pick a dish you’ll bring to each holiday party you attend.

Wherever you can reduce the number of decisions or the complexity of your decisions, you’ll be able to conserve your energy through the season with more ease.

To keep it simple, host a casual brunch instead of a formal dinner. (Shutterstock)

Host Brunch Instead of Dinner

If you’re hosting a holiday gathering, trade the concept of a formal dinner for a casual brunch. Encourage your guests to share a dish and serve everything buffet-style. Brunch is fun, relaxed, conducive to a greater variety of dishes, and promotes a casual atmosphere where you can enjoy real connections with your family and friends.

Renegotiate Deadlines

Look at your calendar for December and January and identify the non-holiday obligations that are weighing on your mind. If it’s possible to renegotiate these deadlines or appointments, whether with yourself or others, do so. Then, breathe out a sigh of relief.

Keep Fitness on Track

A sure way to complicate the holidays is to slack off on staying hydrated, eating nutritious foods, and not getting enough exercise. Rather than viewing these things as time-consuming, recognize them as the fuel that keeps your engine going. Maintain a priority on your well-being and that of your family. It’s hard to be merry and bright if you’re drained and depleted.

Do a Little Each Day

Tackle the tasks of the holidays in small bites. Whether it’s writing greeting cards, wrapping presents, decorating your home, or planning fun activities, take an hour each day and make it your holiday hour. Turn on festive music, pour a cup of your favorite seasonal beverages, and enjoy the process.

Stay Focused on People, Not Perfection

It can be easy to buy into the image of a perfect holiday and the desire to provide that for your family. What your family most needs is connection and togetherness, not the perfect decor or Instagrammable moments. Embrace imperfection and focus on what’s most important.

Even if things don’t look perfect or taste perfect, welcome family and friends with open arms; recognize how precious time together is and ground yourself in the true meaning of the season.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza