Thanksgiving, family visits, final exams, holiday shopping, getting ready for Christmas...with so many things going on, it's not surprising that many people describe this as the most stressful time of year. Fortunately, spending a little time planning now can save you a lot of stress and headaches later on.
My sister-in-law is one of the most organized people I know, so I wasn't surprised when she told me recently that she's already done with her holiday shopping. I immediately started berating myself for not being further ahead with my own holiday plans before forcing myself to stop and reevaluate. I may not be done planning and shopping for the upcoming holidays, but I can get started now and still have plenty of time to get ready.
Try to prepare for big events in advance, but don't get so hung up on details and perfection that you end up heaping even more pressure on yourself. Are you stressed out about the holidays? Make a plan for how you will approach your seasonal celebrations, what you still need to do to get ready, and look for ways that you can delegate or simplify certain tasks.
Are you fretting about upcoming comprehensive tests and final papers? Start studying now for all those end-of-term exams and begin putting the final polish on research papers, essays, and other assignments. We've got some great tips and resources that can help you succeed in the final weeks of the semester:
- How to Study for a Psychology Test
- Test Tips for Multiple-Choice Psychology Exams
- How to Write a Psychology Paper
Elizabeth Scott, About.com's Guide to Stress Management, also has lots of great resources that can help you cope with holiday stress:
Image by Alan Cleaver