Help reduce levels of stress during the holiday season by organizing, planning and reducing last-minute scrambling. Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne looks at the relationship between clutter in the home that can take the form of unneeded and unwanted items, never-ending to do lists and possessions without a proper location. She suggests that an environment lacking organization can make feeling at home and enjoying time spent in a cluttered house stressful.
During the holidays social activities and visits from family and friends increase. Taking small steps to plan, organize and prepare can alleviate stress surrounding additional events, people and stuff. One important part of reducing stress related to the holidays is to remember that posts on social media are the highlight reels of people’s lives. People choose the perfect pictures of their families, decorations and meals to share on these platforms and delete the outtakes that are probably more representative of their lives. Before you stress yourself out over having everything perfect remember that the holidays are not about perfection they are about celebrating.
Before shopping, meal planning and invites for events are sent make sure to break everything down into smaller pieces. Making a list of priorities from most important and time sensitive things to get done through the small details will help each task feel less intimidating and the list of things to do be more manageable.
When the task lists for parties, meals and events are complete don’t forget to assign responsibilities to family members as appropriate and ask for help when needed. It is important to not let holiday preparations become overwhelming. Delegating items on the list to family members is a great way to get everyone involved in holiday planning.
This holiday season organize, plan and prepare by learning to accept imperfection and embrace the “outtake moments”, ask for help and remember what is most important for you and your family.
Whitbourne, S. K. (2017). 5 Reasons Why Clutter Disrupts Mental Health. Psychology Today.
I am currently a Master’s degree Intern from the Crown College counseling program and have completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from St. Cloud State University. I am most influenced by mindfulness-based interventions and believe in utilizing an integrative approach to therapy, combining different therapeutic approaches to meet the unique needs of each client. I work from a collaborative approach assisting and supporting clients. I believe that the therapy process should help guide people to an increase self-awareness, gain new perspectives, decrease symptoms, and increase personal strengths. I enjoy helping people who seek counseling to have more meaningful experiences in life. My interests include working with adolescents and adults age 15 and older who are experiencing:
Anyone following the news is finding themselves in a place of abnormal isolation. While the world is shutting down in many regards, we remain in the constant presence of our own thoughts. Regardless of how you view the current international crisis, your life has changed compared to just a few weeks ago.