Your Guide to Planning a Stress-Free Holiday Season

Your Guide to Planning a Stress-Free Holiday Season


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It’s the most wonderful time of year – and also the busiest! In between family and friends coming and going, shopping and cooking, gift buying and wrapping – plus a long list of other commitments that come up during this time of year – it can be difficult to get through the holiday season without at least some level of increased stress.

But while it might seem challenging to keep your sense of overwhelm at bay, it certainly is possible! After all, it’s the season of joy – and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a happy and enjoyable holiday season.

Here at Day Designer, our mission is to inspire you to live a well-designed life, which includes planning intentionally during the busy holiday season. Today, we'll help you create a time of happiness and celebration without the holiday stress and overwhelm from years past! We’ve compiled five of our favorite tips to prepare you for a stress-free holiday season.

Stress-Free Holiday Planning Tips

1. Envision the Holiday Season You Want to Have

The first step towards achieving what you want is knowing exactly what you want! Having a vision of the holiday experience you’d like to create sets a path for planning the season ahead. Your vision will give you the clarity to move forward in the right direction.

Take a few minutes to realistically identify what your ideal holiday season should include – and not include! Avoid striving for perfection and consider how you'll maintain boundaries with your time.

2. Maintain Your Self-Care Habits

Don’t lose sight of yourself in the hubbub of the holidays! Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean you can forego all of the routines and habits that make you feel good and help you move through your day with ease.

Maintain space in your planner for all of the rituals and activities that you carry with you throughout the year to keep you happy and healthy. We guarantee that if you can do that through the holiday season, you’ll make it to January relaxed, refreshed, and ready to design a beautiful new year.

3. Choose Connection Over Doing It All

Holiday traditions, gifts, and parties are sure to add a lot of fun to our lives – but when just the thought of these results in a feeling of overwhelm, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

If your overall vision of the season includes connecting with family and friends while making them feel special – prioritize that over a mile-long to-do list. The gift of your presence is far more important than fitting each and every holiday activity in, giving material gifts, and throwing a fabulous party. Don’t forget to enjoy the people you’re doing all this for!

4. Set a Budget

It’s all too easy for holiday spending to get out of hand. Set a holiday budget now, so you know exactly how much you want to spend in each category: gifts, travel, parties, and more. Then use a simple method to track your spending in each category, such as our Expense Tracker printable or a Lined Notebook.

Find a system that you’ll actually stick with so that you’ll stay on top of what you’re spending. And who knows? Perhaps the good habit of budgeting will stick with you long after the holidays are over!

5. Write Down Your Priorities and Plans

Tis the season to prioritize! Now that you know you can’t do it all, make a list of the projects you’ve decided to take on. Add tasks and to-dos that you need to accomplish, and assign deadlines to each one. Use a daily planner to jot them down and plan it all out.

This will save you from suddenly looking up, and realizing that it’s the 23rd, and you still need to do Christmas shopping! Prioritizing your tasks and breaking them down into manageable pieces will help you stay focused, organized, and less stressed.

Free Holiday Planning Printables

• Holiday Prep + Plans

Map out your holiday plans starting six weeks prior to the holiday and leading right up to the week of Christmas. Download our free Holiday Prep + Plans printable!

 Holiday Gift Ideas

Keep track of who to shop for and what to give with our free Holiday Gift Ideas printable!

 Entertaining Checklist

Get a head start on your party prep so you can enjoy the festivities as much as your guests! Download our free Entertaining Checklist printable.

 Holiday Menu Planner

Take the stress out of hosting a special holiday brunch, lunch, or dinner! Download our free Holiday Menu Planner printable.

 Holiday Bucket List

Record your favorite holiday activities (and the new ones you want to try!) all in one place. Download our free Holiday Bucket List printable.

 Making a List, Checking It Twice

Have some fun with your holiday to-dos with our free Making a List, Checking it Twice printable!

 Thank You Note Record

Don't forget to send a note of gratitude! Keep track of your thank you notes with our free Thank You Note Record printable.

Get Started on Your Holiday Planning!

Which tips and tools from our holiday planning guide will you implement and try first? We’re here to help you make the most of your Day Designer Daily Planner or Weekly Planner with top planning tips and additional worksheets.

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